IDOT Announces A Decrease In Highway Fatalities In 2010

Good news was issued from the Illinois Department of Transportation this week. The first half of 2010 shows a decrease in Illinois highway fatalities, which includes the Chicagoland area.  The overall number of fatalities on Illinois roads is down by 16.8 percent on a provisional basis for the first six months of 2010; from 434 in 2009, to 361 in 2010.

One of the reasons for these numbers is an increased rate of seat belt compliance so far in 2010. Since July of 2003, safety belt use in Illinois has gone up 16.4 percentage points, from 76.2 percent in 2003 to 92.6 percent in the statewide survey, just completed by IDOT’s Traffic Safety Division. Prior to enactment of the primary enforcement law, police could not pull a driver over based solely on a safety belt violation.

“During the past six years we have seen the statewide compliance usage rate climb to a remarkable 92.6 percent,” said IDOT’s Traffic Safety Director Michael Stout. “This incredible milestone would not have been possible without the hundreds of dedicated IDOT staff and partners throughout the state working tirelessly to make our highways safer. We believe the decrease in Illinois fatalities is a direct result of the increase in safety belt usage. We look forward to helping this number increase in our effort to save lives.”

For more information on the recent safety belt usage rate refer to www.dot.il.gov/trafficsafety/tsevaluation.html. To view a short video exemplifying why some Illinois residents are making the choice to buckle up, please visit IDOT’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2gDyuyaeWk.

This is an exciting trend in Illinois. It will be interesting to see if these numbers stay consistent through the summer months, which we all know are the busiest travel months.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident  or Chicago truck accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com

Trauma Mama Offers Tips For Motorcycle Safety

The Sun-Times recently introduced Chicago to Teresa McClellend, the “trauma mama”, a registered nurse and avid biker.  McClellend suffered a serious motorcycle accident back in 2006 that changed her life forever and provided the motivation to begin teaching classes on motorcycle safety. That accident was an eye-opener for me. I was riding back from the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run when someone in a car threw out a Gatorade bottle. . . . I was going at a decent speed, . . . and my steering locked. Never in a million years did I think I would go down, but I did.  I realized how ill-prepared motorcyclists are for accidents — including me at that time — and I realized how important it was that the riders with me knew what to do. If my injuries had been life-threatening”  

McClellend described what her safety class is offering, “”I am trying to train bikers how to handle that golden hour between the accident and when the emergency response team arrives: How to secure the scene. Control traffic. When and how to move the injured. When and how to move the motorcycle. The important information for a 911 dispatcher: Was the rider helmeted, . . . possible injuries . . . should an ambulance, Jaws of Life or medivac [helicopter ambulance] be sent… I’m adamant that bikers take a safety course, and I encourage everyone to have CPR training and take an accident management class. We can decrease the statistics of motorcycle accidents, serious injuries and deaths with education and training. Students who increase their awareness tend to ride a little bit safer instead of dogging it down the street or highway,”

This is a must attend event for motorcyle riders, or at the very least, new riders. It’s all about protecting themselves and others on the road.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago motorcycle accident  or Chicago car accident , then call Chicago accident attorney , Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com

Illinois Governor Signs New Bicycle Safety Law

Those who live in Chicago know that this is one of the great towns in the country for bicyclists. There are endless miles of bicycle lanes on the roads throughout the city. Add the lake front and thousands of acres of parks, I think this is one of the best cities to get out and ride your bike. Unfortunately there is a downside to all bike lanes: the threat of dangerous collisions with automobiles.

In a move to help protect bicyclists, Governor Quinn signed a new safety bill. The bill will establish new penalties for motorists that drive recklessly or unnecessarily close to bicyclists. A second piece of legislation will create “Share the Road” Illinois licenses plates. The money from the license plates will fund education campaigns.  Quinn says the new laws will keep bicyclists safe and remind drivers to be alert for bicyclists.

I think this is a positive step towards protecting bicyclists, which will hopefully make drivers more aware when driving throughout the city.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago bike accident  or Chicago car accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website www.BLGCHICAGO.com

Toyota Announces Huge Lexus Recall

Toyota is in the news once again. Already faced with the public relations nightmare from the unintended accelaration recall from earlier this year, Toyota now faces problems with engine defects in some of their Lexus automobiles build between 2005 and 2008.

 Toyota plans to recall 270,000 luxury Lexus and Toyota Crown vehicles across the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe and other countries due to the potential defects that could lead to engine failures.

Rueters repots that Toyota said in its notice to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it had received a report from the Japan market in March 2007 about abnormal noise and engine shaking and examined a broken engine valve spring.

The notice to regulators said there was a possibility the valve springs could degrade over time, leading to failure.

The automaker said it made improvements to its casting process after the initial report, but received more reports of broken valve springs. Toyota increased the thickness of the valve springs in August 2008 and again in September 2009.

From October 2009 onward, Toyota received an increasing number of reports that valve springs produced before August 2008 were breaking, as well as of total engine failures, though not of crashes or injuries, the automaker said.

Toyota said it would replace the engine valve springs with the new thicker version at no cost. It did not provide safety regulators with a recall schedule.

The U.S. recall covers 138,874 luxury Lexus IS 350, GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, LS 460, LS 460 L and LS 600h L vehicles from the 2006 through 2008 model years. The cars were built between August 2005 and July 2008.

Has Toyota dug a hole they cannot dig out of? Only time will tell, but I am not impressed with the amount of time it took them to make a formal recall with both the accelaration and now with the engine problem.  I have not seen any reports of personal injury resulting from the Lexus engine defect.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident  or Chicago truck accident , then call Chicago accident attorney  Aaron Bryant for a free consultation  at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com