Summer Safety Tips For Drivers

Summer is here and it is
the season where more drivers are on the road than any other time of year. Whether
it is a cross-country vacation or a weekend get-away, millions of drivers are
out on the road, so it is important to be aware of other motorists, your
passengers and, of course, what you are doing as the driver. The Texas A&M
Transportation Institute, which has provided numerous traffic safety studies in
the past, has provided a list of detailed safety tips in order to avoid traffic accidents


§  Check tires for proper air pressure, tread
wear and a spare.

§  Check wiper blades, the cooling system (for
needed servicing and coolant level), fluid levels, lights, and the
air-conditioning system.

§  The focus of any driver, at all times, should
be driving. Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve
some form of driver distraction.

§  Everybody aboard must agree to wear their seat
belts every time they are riding or driving in your vehicle.

§  Be responsible and don’t drink and drive.

§  Make sure car seats and booster seats are
properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the restraint
system best suited to protect them.

§  All children 12 and younger should ride in the
back seat. Never leave children alone in a vehicle during the summer.

§  Have an emergency roadside kit
available: 

§  a cell phone;

§  a first aid kit;

§  a flashlight;

§  flares and a white flag;

§  jumper cables;

§  a jack (and a ground mat) for changing a tire;

§  work gloves and a change of clothes;

§  basic repair tools and some duct tape (for
temporarily repairing a hose leak);

§  a jug of water and paper towels for cleaning
up;

§  nonperishable food, drinking water and
medicines;

§  extra windshield washer fluid; and

§  maps.

If you or someone you
love is injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident this
summer, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation, at 312-588-3384. 

Chicago Samples ‘Pedestrian Scramble’ At Downtown Intersection

The Chicago
Tribune
 reported recently that the Chicago Department of
Transportation introduced a ‘pedestrian scramble’ at State and Jackson in the
downtown loop. The test involves stopping
all vehicles — heading east on Jackson and north and south on State — for about
14 seconds every other light cycle to give pedestrians a jump on traffic to
cross in all directions, including diagonally, according to Bill McCaffrey, a
spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation. The goal is to
give pedestrians a head start crossing streets and therefore reducing conflicts
between pedestrians and turning vehicles, officials said.

Of
course, the over-arching goal is to reduce the risk of vehicle – pedestrian accidents, which are prevalent in downtown Chicago, especially during rush
hour. About 3,000 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians — causing several
dozen pedestrian deaths — occur in Chicago each year, according to the Illinois
Department of Transportation. The city’s pedestrian plan calls for reducing
crash-related pedestrian injuries by 50 percent.

I work
and live downtown and I have yet to notice this change at State and Jackson,
thought I will keep an eye out for it. For some reason, I do not see this as
something that would decrease pedestrian accidents because you are increasing
the number of pedestrians walking in every possible direction at a busy
intersection. I would like to see what the results will be of any studies and
if there a plans to expand this to other intersections.

If you
or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident or
Chicago car accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant,
at 312-588-3384 for a free legal consultation

Chicago Believes Traffic Lights For Bicyclists Are Working

I have written in weeks past about
designated bike lanes on Dearborn in downtown Chicago, and the Chicago
Tribune
 reported recently, the city believes that these designated
lanes along with bicycle specific traffic lights, have kept bicyclists safe and
obeying the rules of the road. The
bicycle-specific traffic signals on Dearborn are part of a federally funded
experiment involving the two-way bike lanes, which are protected from moving
vehicle traffic by plastic posts and a parking lane over much of the 1.15-mile
route between Kinzie and Polk streets.  Monitoring by the Chicago Department of Transportation shows
that cyclists stopping for red lights has improved by 161 percent since
cyclist-specific traffic signals, which glow with the image of a bike on the
lens, were installed on Dearborn in December. “Cyclists will really
abide by a signal if they have one,” Chicago Transportation Commissioner
Gabe Klein believes.  

“Enforcement
hasn’t been necessary because people for the most part are obeying the
laws,” said Cmdr. Al Nagode of the Chicago Police Department’s district that includes the Loop. “We’ve had a handful of
citations that we’ve written both to drivers of vehicles and to some bikes when
we see something egregious.”

The
Police Department has no reports of traffic accidents between cyclists and vehicles or
cyclists and pedestrians since the two-way bike lanes were installed, Nagode
said.

“I’m
sure there have been some close shaves here and there,” Klein said.
“Cyclists need to pay attention. You cannot drift into the other lane. I
think it will take time for people to get used to the new traffic pattern, but
so far it has gone pretty well.”

This
report is good news for Chicago cyclists and drivers. There are often
complaints from both types of commuters about the other. Although the sample
size (6 months) is still small, it would be safe to say that these bicycle
specific lanes and traffic lights are working. The goal here is to make the
road safe for everyone – – bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians. It will be
interesting to see if the city expands the bicycle only lanes to other major
roads throughout the city.

If
you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago car accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney
Aaron Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384.