Big Surprise: Smoke Marijuana Greatly Increases Your Chance For A Car Accident

U.S. News & World
Report
 reported this
month about the release of a new study about smoking marijuana and driving.  The
study, which was done by the British Medical Journalfound that those driving under the influence of
marijuana were nearly twice as likely to have a car crash as those who were not
under the influence.

Studies outside the
review have shown that drivers aged 35 and younger are more likely to have car
accidents after using marijuana, the authors noted.  This risk appears to
be greatest in less-experienced cannabis users, younger drivers, and among
those who combine the use of cannabis and alcohol.

Although the research
seems to be clear that smoking pot makes driving much more dangerous, there are
still problems determining whether a driver was actually under the influence of
the drug after being involved in an accident. Dr. Guohua Li, a professor
of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City told U.S. News about
the difficulty of accurate testing: “Because THC, the active
ingredient in marijuana, can be detected several weeks after use of marijuana,
it is hard to determine with certainty if a driver testing positive for
marijuana is indeed impaired by the substance at the time of testing, 
This issue is especially urgent and important in light of the ongoing epidemic
of drugged driving and increased permissibility and availability of marijuana
worldwide,” Li said.

Regardless, the above
study documents what we already knew. Drugging and driving is just as dangerous
as drinking and driving. Despite the lax attitude many Americans have about
Marijuana, it is important that as a society we remain vigilant in warning
about getting behind the wheel if someone has been smoking the drug.

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

Governor Quinn Announces $21 Million Grant For Safe Routes To Schools

Governor Quinn announced last month through the Illinois Department of Transportation that will be $21.7 million will be granted to schools throughout the state to help make routes to school safer for children.  Governor Quinn stated in his press release that the goal of the grant was to “Encourage children to walk and bike to school not only makes school routes safer, but also improves the quality of life for Illinois residents by easing traffic congestion and reducing emissions.” 

The 229 funded projects support sidewalk repair and equipment for police and crossing guards. The funding includes $1.5 million to assist communities with safety training, educational materials, and public service announcements encouraging safe walking and biking to school. This will help ensure a consistent statewide program and favorable outcomes from the Safe Routes to Schools projects. Click here to learn more about the plans to make children’s path to school.
These are encouraging steps being made by the state of Illinois to make roads safer for children and all pedestrians.  Vehicle-pedestrian accidents are a parents worst nightmare and hopefully this will help them sleep better at night and at the same time promote children walking and biking to school.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago vehicle-pedestrian accident then call Chicago car accident attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com. 

Governor Quinn Signs Chicago Speeder Cameras Into Law

I wrote last fall about a
controversial law that the Illinois legislature passed, which would allow the
city of Chicago to install speeder cameras around the city. Mayor Emanuel was
heavily endorsing the law and was touting it as a measure that would help protect
children. The cameras are apparently going to be mainly positioned around
schools and parks. Governor Quinn finally signed the measure into law last
week. 

These cameras have had plenty of
skepticism from the the public, media and other lawmakers. State Representative
Ann Williams, who represents part of the North side of Chicago, is one
politician who opposed the new law. She told the Chicago Tribune about
her concerns: “I feel
that having cameras on every corner really changes the character of a
neighborhood,” Williams said. “Imagine walking through your
neighborhood on a beautiful day, looking up, and there’s a camera pointed at
you. I just don’t know if I want that feeling on every corner in every
neighborhood.”

Other people has
argued that these cameras were being installed merely to raise revenue for the
city. Mayor Emanuel has disagreed with this theory from the beginning and has
stated time and again that the purpose for these cameras is to protect
children. Governor Quinn echoed this sentiment:  “I think that you’ve got to understand that if you save even one
life, you are saving the whole world,” Quinn said during an appearance at
a high school on the Far South Side. “I mean, what do you say to a parent
that’s been there from the day their son or daughter was born and they’re
killed by a speeding motorist next to their school or their park?

“I think our job
is to rise to the occasion and do what’s necessary to protect our kids.”

I think time will have
to tell whether these cameras were useful. We will have to look at the
statistics after a year or two to see if the amount of vehicle-pedestrianaccidents have decreased in Chicago. It will also be important if the amount of
vehicle-pedestrian accidents decrease in the specific areas where the cameras
are placed.

If you or someone you
love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago vehicle-pedestrianaccident, 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. 

NHTSA To Require Rear-View Cameras On All Vehicles

It is every drivers worst nightmare
– – backing their vehicle up and unexpectedly striking the person behind you.
This happens more than you would think as Business Week recently
reported that every year 292 people die and 18,000 are injured by back overaccidents. Based on this epidemic, former President Bush signed into law the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act in
2008. The law was named for a two-year-old boy who was killed in 2002 when an
SUV driven by his father backed over him. The law gave National Highway
Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) three years to come up with
new rules to “reduce death and injury resulting from backing incidents” by
requiring “additional mirrors, sensors, cameras, or other technology to expand
the driver’s field of view.”

As a result, the
NHTSA is expected to issue a regulation requiring rear-view cameras on all
new automobiles sold in the U.S. starting in 2014. NHTSA says the cameras will
cut the number of deaths by half, to 146 a year. Yet the auto industry is
questioning the prospective rule, calling it an example of overregulation by
the federal government. NHTSA estimates it will cost automakers as much as
$2.7 billion to install the devices on 16 million cars every year, which
works out to about $18.5 million per life saved.

There has been quite a
bit of backlash from the auto industry due to the increased costs that they will bear.  Does
the auto industry have a viable argument?  Were these same auto giants
making the same arguments when the government began requiring seat belts in the
early 1960s or later when they were required to add air bags. I think this is
the cost of doing business and that consumers are due fair protection from the
products placed in the open market. Once could argue that the new regulation is a little
overreaching. This could be true, but I believe – – at a bare minimum – – auto
makers should be required to install rear-view cameras on all SUVs, truck and
vans as the line of sight behind them begins at approximately 20 feet, which
can make it impossible to see a small child directly behind the vehicle.

If you or someone you
love has been involved in a Chicago car accident or a Chicago back overaccident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 32-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com
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Study Shows Distracted Pedestrians More Like To Be Involved In Accidents

 The University of
Maryland Medical Center released an interesting study last month which revealed
that pedestrians wearing headphones are more likely to be involved in 
car accidents and train accidents than pedestrians without
headphones. 

The
research revealed that 116 accident cases from 2004 to 2011 in which
injured pedestrians were documented to be using headphones. Seventy percent of
the 116 accidents resulted in death to the pedestrian. More than two-thirds of
victims were male (68 percent) and under the age of 30 (67 percent). More than
half of the moving vehicles involved in the accidents were trains (55 percent),
and nearly a third (29 percent) of the vehicles reported sounding some type of
warning horn prior to the crash. The increased incidence of accidents over the
years closely corresponds to documented rising popularity of auditory
technologies with headphones.

Dr.
Lichenstein and his colleagues noted two likely phenomena associated with these
injuries and deaths: distraction and sensory deprivation. The distraction
caused by the use of electronic devices has been coined “inattentional
blindness,” in which multiple stimuli divide the brain’s mental resource
allocation. In cases of headphone-wearing pedestrian collisions with vehicles,
the distraction is intensified by sensory deprivation, in which the
pedestrian’s ability to hear a train or car warning signal is masked by the
sounds produced by the portable electronic device and headphones.

Remember
to always be aware of your surrounding if walking around town listening to your
 ipod as you could be increasing the chances you are struck
by a vehicle. Another option is to lower the volume level enough so that you
can hear and remain aware of the surrounding traffic.

If you
or someone you love has been involved in a
 Chicago car accident or Chicago pedestrian 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.