Abels & Annes

Driver’s Ed Vehicles Could Be Endangering Teens in Chicago Car Accidents

Your teen driver may be learning to drive in a vehicle that has some of the worst safety ratings. The Chicago Tribune looked into the matter in an attempt to figure out which cars our young drivers are learning in and the results are frightening.

A large number of Chicagoland schools are putting our teens in the driver’s seat of vehicles that would likely not adequately protect them in the event of a Chicago car accident.
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Our Chicago injury attorneys understand that the type of vehicle that a motorists drives has a significant impact on occupant safety in the event of an accident. Motorists are asked to consider crash and safety ratings before selecting a vehicle to purchase. The make and model of your car can mean the difference between life and death.

After examining the vehicles of 50 schools in the area, the Chicago Tribune discovered the following about driver’s education vehicles:

-Safety is hardly ever a top concern for Illinois officials and schools district leaders when selecting a vehicle for students to drive throughout a driver’s education course.

-The safety rating of a vehicle in a driver’s education program varies widely according to the location of the school.

-Virtually no agency keeps track of the kind of vehicles and the safety rating of the course cars.

-Few regulations govern the selection process and the use of these vehicles.

Cars.com examined vehicles that were used for driver’s training programs during the 2010 school year and discovered that many of the vehicles completely failed on crash-test scores.

The bottom 10 districts for driver’s education vehicle safety:

1.) Chicago Public Schools. Grade: F

2.) Elgin, Ill., U-46. Grade: F

3.) (tie) Township District 214 Grade F

3.) (tie) Vernon Hills, Ill., District 128. Grade: F

5.) Romeoville, Ill., Valley View District 365U. Grade: F

6.) (tie) Hinsdale, Ill., District 86. Grade: F

6.) (tie) Woodstock, Ill., District 200. Grade: F

8.) Warren Township District 121. Grade: D-

9.) (tie) Elmhurst, Ill., District 205. Grade: D+

9.) (tie) Palatine, Ill., Township District 211. Grade: D+

Chicago Public Schools, operated the largest driver’s education course in the state. This district reportedly uses vehicles with poor safety ratings. Most of the vehicles used in this program are older than the students.

The top 10 districts for driver’s education vehicle safety:

1.) (tie) Bloom Township District 206. Grade: A+

1.) (tie) Orland Park, Ill., Community High School District 230. Grade: A+

3.) Niles, Ill., District 219. Grade: A+

4.) (tie) Lyons Township High School District. Grade: A

4.) (tie) J. Sterling Morton School District 201. Grade: A

6.) Naperville, Ill., District 203. Grade: A

7.) Community High School District 218. Grade: B

8.) Rich Township District 227. Grade: B

9.) (tie) Proviso Township District 209. Grade: B

9.) (tie) Thornton Township District 205. Grade: B

“You don’t want these young drivers in cars that don’t have air bags or that are 10 or 15 years old and frankly are unsafe,” said aid Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest.

The average age for vehicles that were used in the 2010 and 2011 school year for these programs was slightly newer than 5-years-old. More than half of the vehicles were purchased after 2009. Nearly 70 percent of the vehicles were purchased by districts after 2006. More than 80 percent of these vehicles we purchased after 2001.

Safety should be a top concern of all district officials. Student drivers need to be equipped with vehicles that have the ability to save a life in the event of an accident. Poorly maintained and aging vehicles are unacceptable for our inexperienced drivers who are already at a high risk for a car accident.

If you or your teen driver has been involved in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Fatigued Drivers Contributing to Risk of Car Accidents in Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 18, 2011

Windy City Drivers Among the Nation’s Worst — Chicago Car Accidents Often Result, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 12, 2011