During a car accident, children may be more likely to suffer serious injuries compared to adult passengers given their small size. A child will not sustain the impact of the collision like an adult and may be more likely to be thrown about the vehicle which makes them more vulnerable to head injuries, broken bones, and internal injuries.
Aggressive driving behaviors account for more than half of all fatal crashes. The Chicago area creates a prime environment for aggressive driving. The often congested Chicago roadways are notorious for stop-and-go traffic that can cause even the calmest driver to lose their cool.
However, it is important to remember aggressive driving not only jeopardizes the driver’s safety, it endangers vehicle passengers, as well as occupants of all vehicles on the road. The NHSTA defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses as to endanger other persons or property.” Aggressive driving encompasses a variety of different behaviors, including but not limited to:
With bone chilling temperatures setting in and snow covering the city, there is no doubt that winter is in full swing here in Chicago. The snow can be quite beautiful, but it can also be a challenge to those who drive in the city or who use the roadways to travel.
Every year over 116,000 Americans are injured due to car accidents caused by winter weather. In the blink of an eye, a winter storm can turn a perfectly safe highway into dangerous roadway. Heavy snowfall, which is especially common in Chicago due to our proximity to the lake, can make driving conditions quite difficult. Not only does the snow affect visibility but also fast accumulation can make traveling impossible. In addition, the freezing temperatures can make roads slick and hazardous.
Almost 25% of all vehicle crashes nationwide are weather-related. But while snow and ice are major contributors to winter accidents, negligence is also a contributing factor. Some drivers are in too much of a hurry to use caution, driving too fast, or following other cars to closely, which can easily cause accidents. Due to the icy roads it is much more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles, especially when sudden stops are necessary. The snow and ice often cause drivers to slide or spin out, which can result in even the most experienced drivers to panic and overcorrect. Thus, if another driver is ignorant to perilous winter conditions they can easily put others on the road at risk.
If you live in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, you know that car accidents are an unfortunate reality. The typical driver will be involved in three collisions in her lifetime but those who spend more time than average in their cars are at risk for more crashes. Sometimes, only one car is involved in an accident and yet in others, several cars may collide with one another. This can leave many victims wondering: what happens if I am involved in a multi vehicle collision?
If your accident happens in the city or elsewhere in Illinois, know that you are protected by state and local laws. You may have the right to obtain payment for the damages done to your vehicle through the use of a property damage claim. But more importantly, you may have the right to obtain payment for any injuries you sustain through a bodily injury claim. Knowing what must be done and how to complete the process of these claims can be complicated, but working with a personal injury attorney can make the process clear.
It may sound surprising but few people who live in Chicago truly know what police officers do in the time following a car accident. Some believe that it is an officer’s job just to get basic information while others think that the officers handle cases through prosecution, if necessary. The truth is more nuanced than either of those options and can have an impact on the victims of car accidents here in Illinois, even if those victims do not understand the officer’s full role.
Police officers serve many roles and their titles and position within the force will determine their daily activities. From investigating crimes to issuing parking tickets, officers can wear many hats while on-the-job. Additionally, the type of police force will influence some of the officer’s assignments. For example, the Illinois State Police Department is tasked with traffic enforcement on many of the state expressways around Chicago while local officers patrol local, city roads.
Everything around us is getting smarter, more interactive, and more intuitive as each year passes thanks to advancements in technology that improve our American lifestyles. These advancements cross nearly every boundary in society and stretch from the classroom to the professional world, from breakfast to bedtime. Few pieces of our lives are technology-free at this point and many who live in Chicago like it that way.
One spot where technological advancements have made huge strides in recent years is in automobile design and manufacture. Today, cars are more efficient than ever before and can even perform some tasks on their own. Yet despite advances in cars, trucks, and buses, collisions keep happening and keep causing injuries to those involved. Nationally, the biggest culprit for car accidents continues to be rear-end collisions and unfortunately, those who drive in Chicago are at a significant risk for being involved in that type of crash.
When it comes to driving in Chicago, most motorists tend to believe that their skills are better than average and that they are not part of the problems facing others on the roadways. However, statistically, all drivers in Illinois and elsewhere in the nation make mistakes or poor decisions on occasion, increasing the odds that they will cause a car accident or other traffic incident that may lead to injuries.
A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that anger, aggression, or road rage among drivers is so pervasive that 80 percent of all drivers admitted to having one or more of these attributes while driving within the prior 12 months.
The findings come from a survey that asked drivers about their general and specific habits while operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway. Importantly, many drivers tend to report their own conduct in a light favorable to their actions so these numbers may be lower than the actual experience. Further, as so many drivers find themselves with feelings of frustration, it is a warning sign to the few among us who keep their cool at all times that the motorist next to them may not be doing the same and may engage in aggressive or even damaging conduct as a result.
So often, Chicago drivers tell themselves “it won’t happen to me” when they think about a car accident occurring. Most motorists believe that they are better than average when it comes to their skills behind the wheel and that their experience and technique alone will be enough to keep them safe. Unfortunately, accidents happen each and every day in our city and a large number of them cause victims to be injured annually, forcing those victims to take time off from work while they recover and incur medical expenses due to the crash.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) tracks and records traffic-related incidents annually. For 2014, IDOT noted that 296,049 crashes involving a motor vehicle happened within the state’s borders, a number that should both shock and alarm citizens regardless of where they live. These crashes included single car accidents, accidents between two or more vehicles, collisions involving trucks, buses, and vans, motorcycle crashes, and those where a pedestrian was hurt. Put simply, the number and breadth of collisions occurring on Illinois roads is so vast and broad that all citizens should take note as their safety could be threatened if they become the victim of an accident.
When it comes to driving in the Chicago area, not all roads are created equal. Some are well-maintained, well-designed, and function as intended to, allowing traffic to progress with few problems. Others seem to have been in need of repaving or updating for decades, leaving motorists to question why they have been so neglected by local officials and what will have to happen before changes are made.
The level of traffic on a specific roadway contributes quite a bit to that road’s overall safety and functionality. The more vehicles that use an area, the more likely that congestion will result, particularly if a car accident or crash happens and forces a backup beyond the affected vehicles.
With more than 300,000 vehicles using the Dan Ryan Expressway on a typical weekday, it has been dubbed the busiest road in the entire state, along with the Kennedy Expressway on the city’s north side. The Dan Ryan is known to locals for its high speeds and stiff congestion and is so infamous that many plan their entire transit times around anticipated rush hour traffic. If you fail to plan before getting on the Dan Ryan, odds are that you will find yourself in stop-and-go conditions.
If you plan to drive in Illinois, you are required to take several steps. You must be licensed to operate a motor vehicle, must do so within the laws of the state, and must carry insurance on your car, to name a few of the requirements. But until recently, those who took a driver’s education class in the state did not have to receive an education on what to do if they were stopped by police. While many classes taught drivers how to operate on a public roadway, when to use a turn signal, and how to proceed on an expressway, only some were discussing what a driver should do if he or she were stopped by local law enforcement officers.
Now, a new law passed at the state level is changing that. A bill signed into law last month will require all driver’s education classes to cover a portion of their teaching curriculum on what procedures to follow if the driver is involved in a lawful traffic stop. The purpose of this new law is to help educate this newest group of drivers so that they are prepared for all aspects of driving, including some of the ones they may prefer to avoid.