Distracted Driving Greatly Increases the Change of Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents involving Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Motorcyclists

A Chicago man struck by a distracted teen driver dies after suffering severe brain injuries from the accident, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The teen driver was reportedly downloading ring tones on her cell phone when the accident occurred. The rider was reported to have been taking all the necessary safety precautions while riding his bicycle that afternoon. He was wearing his helmet and riding on the shoulder of the road, but that wasn’t enough to save him from the deadly Chicago bicycle accident.Our Chicago car accident lawyers urge drivers to be extra observant on the roadways as cyclists, motorcycle riders and pedestrians take to the street in large numbers this spring.

Distracted driving reports show that inattentive drivers are responsible for an increasing number of accidents in the Unites States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,500 people were killed, and an additional 448,000 injured, in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. Of the thousands killed, roughly 1,000 of the accidents reported cell phone usage as the form of distraction. This means cell phones contributed to nearly 20 percent of the distracted driving-related accidents.

As we recently discussed on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, Illinois is making every attempt to help reduce the risk of bicycling accidents. Twenty riders were killed in bicycle accidents in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Through spring, Chicago is hosting various distracted driving awareness events to help reduce the risk of these accidents.

Distracted driving needs to be addressed not only to help protect cyclists and pedestrians but to help protect other motorists as well. Illinois recently kicked off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month with the Illinois Distracted Driving Summit, presented by the National Safety Council & FocusDriven. The Summit was used to engage key groups to determine how best to reduce crashes involving distracted drivers.

“Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The NHTSA offers this list of potential in-car distractions you should avoid:

-Cell Phones. This includes both hand-held and hands free phones.

-Computers. With the convenience of laptop computers, it is easy to access them while at the wheel.

-Distractions caused by other passengers.

-Your radio. Changing the station, changing the CD or messing with your MP3 player all requires you to take your eyes, and attention, off the road.

-GPS Systems. Use these features only when pulled over and stopped on the side of the road.

If you have been injured in a crash, the Chicago bike accident attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free case evaluations to discuss your rights. Call (312) 924-7575. There is no fee unless you win.

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