NHTSA Reports Study On Drinking And Driving

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration  released some startling numbers regarding drink and driving in their report titled: “National Survey On Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors.”  The survey concluded that and estimated 17 million motorists in the U.S. may have driven while drunk in the preceding 12 month and twenty percent of the public 16 and older had in the past year driven a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol.  About two-thirds of these, or 13 percent of the total population 16 and older had done so in the past 30 days. The survey produced an estimate of 85.5 million past-month drinking-driving trip, up from 73.7 million trips in 2004.

The scary part of the of this survey is the resulting damage that these drinking and driving trips have caused. Among persons 16 and older involved in a motor vehicle crash in the past two years, 20% reported that someone had been injured in the (most recent) crash. Respondents were more likely to report that an involved driver had been drinking alcohol if the car crash  led to injury (32%) than if no injury occurred (5%).

About 1% of the population 16 and older had been arrested for a drinking and driving violation in the past two years; the percentage was 5% for males 21 to 24. Almost three-fourths of the public believed that drivers who had too much to drink to drive safely would be somewhat likely (40%), very likely (21%), or almost certain (12%) to be stopped by police.

These are some eye-opening statistics. Remember, it is very simple to pick up the phone and call a cab or a friend. You may be protecting yourself and others, let alone the  avoiding the legal problems that can ensue.

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

AAA And The Humane Society Offer Safety Tips When Traveling With Your Dog

Nothing is more important to many people than their dogs. Man’s best friend deserves their owner’s constant attention, and this sometimes includes while driving. The problem is that providing too much attention to your dog, while driving, can cause distractions and often lead to car accidents .

AAA prepared a recent study about dog owners and their travels and offered some safety tips. AAA’s survey of dog owners found nearly 60 percent admitted to engaging in distracting behavior while driving with their pets. This included petting, letting Fido sit on their laps, playing, or giving food and water. Experts say taking your eyes off the road even for a few seconds can cause a crash. An unrestrained dog could become a projectile – a 10-pound dog in a 50 mph crash can exert 500 pounds of pressure, the AAA said. Also, if you’re in an accident, an unsecured, traumatized dog will create problems for emergency responders trying to help.

To help prevent these distractions and hopefully leading to a safer ride with fido, AAA and The Humane Society offered the following tips: purchase a restraining harnesses for dogs; keeping your dog in the back seat; and nixing the head out of the window routine. And, if you’re driving with a cat, the Humane Society suggests a carrier.

Fido rules but not always in the car.

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

School Is Starting: Take Caution On The Roads

It is that time of year again and children are heading back to school. In some parts of the country, classes started last week. With buses and minivans packed with kids and along with pedestrians crossing the street, AAA reminds us to stay cautious during our morning and afternoon commutes.

AAA offers the following tips that can help make the roads safer for school children:

  • Slow down near schools and in residential areas.

  • Drive with your headlights on – even during the day – so children and other drivers can see you.

  • Look for clues such as AAA School Safety Patrollers, bicycles and playgrounds that indicate children could be in the area.

  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs of children.

  • Practice extra caution in bad weather.

  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students

    And, as always, keep your eyes and fingers away from your phones and blackberrys. It only takes a few seconds of your eyes off the road for something bad to happen.

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

    Transportation Secretary LaHood Proposes Seatbelts For All Motorcoaches

    Those who travel by bus or other motorcoach may soon have the option of the using a seat belt while traveling across the country.  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is proposing new federal legislation that would require all motorcoaches to carry lap-shoulder seat belts. 

    “We’re committed to making sure that motorcoach travelers reach their destinations safely,” said Secretary LaHood. “Seat belts save lives, and putting them in motorcoaches just makes sense.”

    NHSTA officials agree with Secretary LaHood and believe that seat belts in motorcoaches will help prevent death or serious injury in the case of violent vehicle collision  or roll-over accident .”We want motorcoaches to be as safe as possible and are working towards that goal,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “In coordination with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, we will continue moving forward in our mission to save lives and reduce injuries.”

    I honestly comment on this because i very rarely (if every) have traveled via motorcoach. But there does not appear to be any downside (and the financial burden minimal) by installing these and at least giving passenger the option of wearing the seat belt.

    If the law is pushed through the federal legislature, it will not become active until three years after it is enacted.

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

  • Traffic Officials And Physicians Urge Proper Use Of Child Safety Seats

    According to Dr. Karen Judy, and associate professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago School of Medicine, seven (7) our of ten (10) child safety seats are improperly  installed. Improper installation, she says, is the leading reason car accidents cause disability and deaths among children. “If your child weighs less than 80 pounds and is shorter than 57 inches, a seat belt will lay across the child’s neck and belly. In the event of an accident this puts pressure on sensitive areas with the potential for serious injuries, including spinal cord and abdominal injuries or even death. No matter how short the trip, if your child is in the car, he or she should be in a child safety seat,” Judy said in a Health Day news release.

    Dr. Judy providing the following tips on how to properly install child safety seats and how properly secure your child:

  • Use the correct type of car seat for a child’s age, height and weight. Most infant safety seats only hold up to 22 pounds and should always be used in a rear-facing position. Children in car seats should not face forward until they are older than 1 year and weigh more than 20 pounds. Children should continue using forward-facing car seats until they are older than age 4 years, or weigh more than 40 pounds.
  • Children aged 4 to 8 years should use a booster seat and continue to do so until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches or taller, regardless of their age.
  • Children younger than 13 years of age should not sit in the front seat because they could be crushed by air bags if they deploy.
  • Read the instructions that came with the car seat as well as your vehicle owner’s manual thoroughly before installing the safety seat in the car. Have a professional check to ensure the seat is installed correctly. Your local police station should have information on safety seat inspection sites in your area.
  • Never install a safety seat in the front seat of a car.
  • When a child is in a safety seat, the harness should be level with the shoulders and the straps should be secure and tight.
  • If possible, don’t use a secondhand car seat. If you do, make certain it’s never been in an accident and has all the parts, including instructions. Never use a car seat that’s six or more years old.

    These are simple steps that can possibly save your child’s life and prevent serious injury.

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

  • Can Vibrating Seats Help Prevent Car Accidents?

    Picture yourself cruising along a two-way highway and you decide to pass the car in front of you. Just before you pass, you feel you vehicle seat vibrate and at the last second you decide to wait to pass that lagging car. That little vibration may have prevent a serious accident and maybe save someone’s life. You see, that little vibrate was a warning that there was another car in the passing lane but could not be seen in your blind spot.

    Technology never ceases to amaze me.

    The proposed “touch alert” has advantages has two advantages over the visual and audio warnings already deployed in some cars, said John Morrell, the assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Yale University who invented the system.

    First, the modern drivers already finds themselves bombarded by numerous blinking lights, and adding one more would only distract drivers further. Second, a touch cue can transmit location without requiring the driver to turn their head, while also grabbing the driver’s attention in a more visceral way.

    “Looking at an (light) and converting that into an image of a car in your blind spot requires a little more cognitive ability than if something’s touching you,” Morrell told TechNewsDaily. “It’s a more direct pathway into the brain, since touch gives you orientation for free.”

    The system uses vibrating cell phone motors, as well as some more gradual actuators, embedded in the driver’s seat. The seat pushes on the driver, and vibrates, very lightly for the entire ride.

    It will be interesting to see if and when this technology shows up in new vehicles.

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

    Second National Distracted Driving Summit Coming In September

    The U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced that the second annual Distracted Driving Summit will take place on September 21, 2010. Transportation officials, safety advocates, law enforcement, industry representatives, researchers, and victims affected by distraction-related crashes will convene to address challenges and identify opportunities for national anti-distracted driving efforts.

    At this year’s event, experts from around the country will explore accomplishments since our first summit, as well as the many challenges that lie ahead. Key topics will include research, technology, policy, public outreach, and best practices in enforcement.

    The Transportation Department’s press release noted that research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2008, nearly 6,000 people died and more than half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. More than 20 percent of all crashes that same year involved some type of distraction.

    I will be interested to see if the federal government enacts a national ban on all texting in driving. Following last years summit, President Obama enacted a ban for all federal workers from texting while driving while conducting government business.

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

     

    Dangerous Chicago Railroad Crossing To Recieve Upgrades

    A dangerous Chicago railroad crossing at Nagle between Avondale and Northwest highway is finally going to receive some much needed safety upgrades. For years, traffic congestion has caused vehicles to stop on the railroad tracks at this intersection, which has led numerous train and vehicle collisions. The Chicago Tribune reported about this dangerous back on July 12, the same day in which a semi-truck was stuck on the tracks due to backed up traffic and was struck by an oncoming train.

    New signs, better pavement markings, new concrete crossing panels to create a smoother ride over the tracks for vehicles and other changes are planned between Aug. 23 and Sept. 3, officials said. The crossing will be closed during the work, and traffic will be rerouted.  The primarily goal behind the changes is to grab the attention of motorists about the potentially deadly situation at the complex, high-volume rail-roadway intersection near the Kennedy Expressway.

    Interestingly, the above upgrades are not ideal as officials have reported that much more far-reaching changes are being postponed due to high costs. The more expensive changes would include building a bridge over the crossing or installing new electronic circuitry to improve the timing of crossing gates that block the tracks when trains approach, officials said.

    Regardless, it is good to see that the city is taking certain steps to make this railroad crossing safer.

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

    Tips On Preventing Car Accidents And Keeping Your Insurance Rates Down

    Yahoo News published an interesting article recently that provided a list of ways that your car insurance rates can increase.  These may seem obvious and I have written about these before, but, according to insurance executives, they are paying close attention to the following items when determining rates. These are actions (both in and out of your car) that could increase your insurance rates and more importantly are common cause to car accidents  and serious injuries.

    1. Texting while driving
    2. Not wearing a seat belt while driving
    3. Adding a teen to your policy
    4. Missing credit card payments
    5. Paying car insurance in installments

    These are simple tips that can keep your insurance rates down and hopefully keep you safe while on the road.

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

    AAA And Seventeen Magazine Team Up To Prevent Distracted Driving

    A survey by AAA and Seventeen magazine turned up some startling results on teen drivers. Of those surveyed, almost 90 percent admitted to partaking in distracted driving, including texting, talking on the phone and eating while driving. The teen drivers admitted this despite, 84 percent of them knowing that this is a dangerous practice.

    Of those surveyed, 73 percent have adjusted their radio/CD/MP3 player, 61 percent have eaten food, and 60 percent have talked on a cell phone while driving. The reasons teen drivers think it’s fine to engage in these distractions are varied: 41 percent think their action will only take a split second; 35 percent don’t think they’ll get hurt; 34 percent said they’re used to multitasking; and 32 percent don’t think that anything bad will happen to them.

    “It’s great that so many teens are able to identify the bad driving habits that will put them and their friends in danger. But the bigger challenge we face now is to give them the tools they need to stop driving while distracted,” says Ann Shoket, editor in chief of Seventeen magazine. “It’s our responsibility to keep our 13 million readers out of harm’s way.”

    This is a dangerous trend that needs to be addressed.  “Traffic crashes  are the leading cause of death for teen drivers and the proliferation of distracted driving among teens is a challenge all of us must face head-on,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “Because of their lack of driving experience and penchant to take risks, it’s imperative that teen drivers – like all drivers – remain focused behind the wheel at all times. AAA is pleased to partner with Seventeen to spread the anti-distracted driving message and help keep teen drivers safe.”

    Obviously I believe the key is to continue to preach to teens (and drivers of all ages), to put down their phones, soda bottles and snacks and focus on the road. As AAA points out in their studies, it only takes 2 seconds of looking away to cause a car crash .

    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 law firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com