The technology that leads to distracted driving tempts drivers throughout Illinois on a daily basis. Smartphones and dashboard touchscreens take people's eyes off of the road and result in accidents. According to the National Safety Council, these distracted driving crashes kill nine people and injure another 100 people every day. To educate the public about the serious problem, the council and other organizations promote Distracted Driving Awareness Month each April.
Ever since the nationwide 55 mph speed limit was abolished in 1995, 41 states including Illinois have raised the speed limit to at least 70 mph on their highways. Six of those states have done so since 2013. In addition, seven states raised the speed limit on some highways to 80 mph. However, according to a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, this change is responsible for nearly 37,000 additional deaths between 1993 and 2017.
Tractor-trailer accidents in Illinois and around the country claimed 4,102 lives in 2017, and more than 80 percent of those who died were passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists. Road safety groups including the Truck Safety Coalition and Road Safe America say that many of the most dangerous commercial vehicle crashes could be prevented by automatic emergency braking and forward collision avoidance systems, and they have criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration harshly for not pursuing regulations that would make this potentially lifesaving technology mandatory equipment in all American trucks.
Those who are going to be driving on Illinois roads or others throughout the country after the clocks change should make sure to get enough sleep prior to doing so. According to AAA, adults should get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Sleeping for only five or six hours in a 24-hour period could double a driver's risk of an accident. In fact, it could cause impairment similar to driving after consuming too much alcohol.
When people in Illinois have a car accident, they may be upset, injured and unsure of their next steps. However, by being prepared for a collision before it occurs, people may be prepared to gather helpful information that could help them to compile the facts of their case for an insurance company or potentially even in court. People can keep better records and improve their recollection of the facts by remaining calm after a crash, even though it can be challenging.
After medical attention is provided following a car accident in Illinois, the next step is to identify likely contributing factors and causes. It's usually the police and insurance company claims adjusters who take the steps necessary to complete this process. In turn, it's determining the cause of an accident often leads to the identification of parties who may have been at fault, which ultimately establishes legal liability.
Excessive speed was likely the cause of a fatal one-car accident during the early morning hours of Feb. 10 according to police in Illinois. The 29-year-old driver of the car and his 25-year-old male front-seat passenger lost their lives in the crash, which took place on Sheridan Road in Central Peoria at approximately 4:15 a.m. A second passenger was taken by paramedics to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center with what media accounts described as life-threatening injuries. A Peoria Police Department representative said that toxicology tests were being performed on a blood sample taken from the deceased driver.
The Governors Highway Safety Association has a report out that tackles the challenging topic of speeding. Unfortunately, many drivers in Illinois, as elsewhere, think of speeding as being culturally acceptable and do not think about the dangers. Speeding, according to the GHSA, will increase the severity of crashes and, with it, the risk for fatalities, especially among pedestrians and cyclists.
A combination of reckless driving and treacherous road conditions was the cause of an accident that claimed the life of an 86-year-old man on the morning of Jan. 22 according to the Illinois State Police. The 74-year-old driver of the pickup truck that crossed the center line of U.S. Route 41 and struck an oncoming van head-on has been cited for improper lane usage, failing to reduce speed to prevent an accident and not wearing a seat belt.
Truck driver fatigue poses a major danger to people on the roads in Illinois. In one poll, around 25 percent of truck drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in the past month. Trucking accidents are particularly dangerous to passengers and drivers in smaller vehicles as well as pedestrians and cyclists. In 2016, 3,986 people were killed as a result of truck crashes, but only 17 percent of the lives lost were those inside the truck.