Articles Posted in Car Accident

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.

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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.

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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.

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You just finished your Sunday morning shopping, the parking lot is jam-packed, and after navigating the store that was as equally crowded you are more than ready to get home and finally relax. You carefully back out of your parking space, noticing at the very last second that someone with a grocery cart has suddenly appeared right behind your car. Luckily, you hit the brakes in time and no one is hurt. You are finally on your way out of the parking lot madness when THUD…someone backing out of their space rammed right into the side of your car. The passenger door is seriously dented, your mirror is gone, but you and the other driver are okay.

This scenario plays out in parking lots across Chicago every day and in most cases the damage is minimal and injuries are rare.

In parking lot accidents, the traffic lane (with vehicles that are not parked and driving through the aisles) has the right of the way. Thus if a person was backing out of a parking space when a collision occurred, the driver backing out will most likely be held liable.

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Every year, the number of traffic accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities are closely monitored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA describes its mission as to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle-related crashes. This is an incredibly important task as car accidents continue to be a leading cause of death among Americans of all ages, leading to the loss of tens of thousands of lives annually and causing pain and suffering to hundreds of thousands.

As part of its mission, NHTSA monitors numerous factors that go into and stem from traffic crashes each year and a review of their preliminary data from 2015 shows an increase in the total number of fatalities by 7.7 percent over 2014 numbers.

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These days, it may seem like a new automobile recall is being announced every week, and with good reason: over the last few years, more recalls have been issued than at any time in the past. Many motorists have found that the cars they own have been recalled multiple times for unrelated issues that range from the minor to the severe, leaving them wondering just how safe any car on the road may be.

Now, in two new recalls, Ford has announced that approximately 283,000 vehicles will need to be serviced to be safe.

The first recall affects roughly 81,000 Ford Explorer SUVs and Police Interceptor models in North America manufactured between 2014 and 2015. These vehicles have a problem with the rear suspension that could lead to fracturing resulting from poor welds. The other recall focuses on 202,000 cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs with a faulty transmission. These vehicles include 2011 Ford F-150 pickup trucks, 2012 Ford F-150 pickup trucks, 2012 Ford Expeditions, 2012 Ford Mustangs, and 2012 Lincoln Navigators. Officials state that a flaw in the transmission can cause the unit to downshift unintentionally, potentially leading to car accidents or other collisions.

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There are thousands of components that comprise a modern automobile and they range from the very small to the very large. Some of these parts serve a critical purpose, like a steering wheel, while others function more as a luxury, like a radio. With so many parts to a car, it is impossible to keep a close eye on every single aspect of a vehicle at every moment you drive.

However, some features deserve your attention both before you are in the car and while you are moving, and one of the big parts of a car that should be monitored but is often overlooked is a vehicle’s tires. Tires serve to support a vehicle’s load while also transmitting traction and braking capabilities from the car to the roadway, allowing a driver to control acceleration, deceleration, and direction. Tires also absorb road shocks and can be a determining factor in whether or not a car accident happens in Chicago.

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After a relatively mild winter, Chicago experienced a late snow storm yesterday and into this morning which brought with it icy and snowy conditions, ensnarling the normal commutes that Chicago is known for. In fact, some of the southern suburbs and into northwest Indiana still had blizzard warnings this morning which have mostly expired. The total snowfall experienced varies dramatically depending on where you live but the outcome was the same – poor conditions led to a more difficult day for those in Chicago.

Reports related to the weather’s fallout are still coming in but at this time, numerous car accidents and other traffic collisions have been confirmed and some are believed to have caused injuries.

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Whether or not you drive in Chicago, odds are that you understand that vehicles must stop for red lights. Not stopping for a red light will allow a vehicle to enter an intersection when it is not safe to do so, often at the expense of oncoming traffic which may be subjected to a car accident just because of the first driver’s refusal to stop on red.

With the purpose of red lights considered to be common knowledge even among very young children, you might be tempted to think that this rule is rarely, if ever, violated and that almost all drivers stop whenever they face a red. But the reality is far different from that thought with hundreds of thousands of collisions happening every year simply because someone failed to stop on red.

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In 2015, auto manufacturers broke a record by selling 17.5 million cars and light trucks, a 5.7 percent increase over the 2014 numbers. That means that millions of families not only shopped for a new vehicle but they made the decision to purchase one for any number of reasons. In addition to the new cars that made their way into American homes, used cars were also sold and although those numbers are difficult to conclude, officials believe that 42 million used cars were bought and sold in 2014.

Perhaps you were one of the millions of Americans that traded in your ride for something new, or perhaps you are considering doing so in the near future. Whatever your position in life is right now, it is possible that you will need a vehicle to help you get around at some point soon. If you will be buying a car, truck, or SUV, it is important to keep in mind that in addition to the aesthetics of a vehicle and its comfort, the safety features offered by that car should be considered.

The technology boom of recent years has flowed into automobile manufacturing and the results have created several new features that may save your life or prevent a car accident if you happen to drive in the Chicago area. Among these features are:

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