New Year’s Resolutions: Curb Distractions to Reduce Risks of Chicago Car Accidents

Our Chicago car accident attorneys recently announced that we were launching a new 6-blog series to discuss the dangers we most commonly face on our roadways. Along with the discussion of these dangers, we’re asking all residents to stand up against dangerous roadways and to make a New Year’s resolution to be a better and a safer driver.According to the Daily Herald, John Cuneo from Chicago recently won a regional Emmy award for a public service announcement (PSA) that he and a colleague shot at the DuPage County morgue. The PSA received an award from the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The PSA was used to help educate drivers about the dangers of driving while distracted and to illustrate the risks for car accidents in Chicago that accompany this dangerous behavior. The PSA will now be aired nationwide.

“If you drive down any road and just watch people – the percentage of drivers looking at their phones is very high,” McHenry County Sheriff’s Sgt. Karen Groves said.

Recently, reporters of the Daily Herald reviewed traffic citations for distracted driving in Wheaton, Villa Park, Schaumburg, Rosemont, Palatine, Naperville, Mundelein, Lombard, Lake Zurich, Lake in the Hills, Itasca, Grayslake, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Geneva, Elgin, Carol Stream, Bensenville, Bartlett, Arlington Heights, Algonquin and Addison. Nearly 310 citations were issued for violating the electronic use law, which prohibits text messaging and the use of other electronic communication devices for drivers. These citations accounted for less than 1 percent of all citations issued. Nearly 600 citations were issued to drivers who were busted using a cell phone while driving through a construction or a school zone. These citations accounted for less than 1.5 percent of all traffic citations.

Our state’s distracted driving law comes with some good intentions, but it is tough for law enforcement officers to enforce. The law contains numerous loopholes, meaning that distraction-related car accidents continue to injure and kill far too many motorists on our roadways.

The Daily Herald looked over more than 40,000 traffic citations to determine these statistics. It’s clear that distraction-related offenses are not a top priority for most. For this reason, we ask that all drivers take the personal responsibility to curb the distractions. Personal responsibility may be our best defense against dangerous roadways.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were just a little more than 3,000 fatalities that occurred in 2010 because of distraction-related car accidents. While this new statistic proves a decrease in the number of fatalities from these types of accidents, we’re still seeing far too many of these preventable accidents. Drivers are still asked to take the responsibility to put away the distractions while operating a motor vehicle.

We would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and ask you to make the New Year’s resolution to be a better driver by putting away the distractions behind the wheel. Only aware and alert drivers can help to prevent potentially fatal distraction-related accidents on our roadways.

If you or a family member has been injured in a traffic accident with a distracted driver, 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:

Take Pledge to Curb Distraction-Related Car Accidents in Chicago!, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, December 31, 2011

Hands-Free Phone Devices Risky, Could Cause Car Accidents in Illinois, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, December 23, 2011

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