IDOT Releases Map Of 70 MPH Speed Limits

As reported by the  Chicago
Tribune, 
the Illinois Department of Transportation has released a map
of the interstates that will have a 70 mph speed limit starting on January 1,
2014. 1,900 of the state’s nearly 2,170
miles of interstate will be able to travel at 70 mph instead of the
existing speed limits, generally 65.  But only about 30 percent of the
Illinois Tollway’s 286-mile network will get the higher speed limit, according
to a map released by IDOT. And in the Chicago area, the 70-mph limit will be
posted only on five fairly short stretches of interstate. Those are sections of
I-80 and I-55 in Will County, a stretch of I-57 in far southern Cook County and
all of Will County, a portion of the I-88 toll road in far western Kane County
and part of the I-94 tollway in northern Lake County.

The sponsor of the bill,
Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, is not pleased
at all with the lack of 70 mph speed limits around the Chicago area. Orberweis
told the
 Tribune, “It’s just clear that they (IDOT) are
disregarding the will of the people.” 

In a
statement, IDOT said the new speeds will be placed on interstate stretches
“where deemed reasonable and  
safe.” Department spokesman
Paris Ervin said the agency conducted traffic engineering studies of all
locations with limits below the existing 65-mph maximum and “other
locations deemed necessary.”

I think
this change in speed limits makes sense for most of the interstates around
Illinois. As I have written about in the past, drivers rarely follow the 65 mph
speed limit for the most part anyway. The question that remains is whether this
will make the interstates more dangerous and more prone to deadly car accidents. I will be following closely to see if the amount of auto accidents
in these areas increases and/or the number of fatal car crashes increases now
that the speed limit is higher.

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

 


IDOT’s Winter Weather Driving Tips

Winter weather has hit hard and
early this year in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Though it’s very important
to have your guard up when driving, it is especially important when there is
ice and snow on the roads. The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”)
posted some important tips on their website for both how to handle the road and
also a survival  kit in case you happened to become stranded. Read the
below tips so that you will be ready this winter to avoid car accidents and
dangerous situtations:

Survival Kit:

·  Ice scraper,
snow brush, rags and paper towels.

·  Jumper
cables, basic tool kit, antifreeze, no-freeze windshield washer fluid and extra
drive belt(s).

·  Shovel,
traction mats or old rugs, tire chains, salt, cat box litter or sand.

·  Blankets and
extra clothing including hats, socks, waterproof boots, coats and gloves.

·  Non-perishable,
high-calorie food. 

·  Candles,
waterproof matches and a metal container (coffee can) in which to melt snow
into water.

·  Flashlight
with extra batteries, flares or roadway reflectors.

·  A basic
first aid kit and a fire extinguisher.

·  A cellular
telephone with a backup power source might be the single most important safety
item available. A citizen’s band radio is a good alternative.

Driving tips: 

·  Buckle those
seat belts! (It’s the law)

·  Be prepared
to turn back or seek refuge if conditions become threatening.

·  In RAIN,
drive with your headlights on dim. 

·  In FOG,
drive with your headlights on dim, or use fog lights.

·  If the fog
is too dense, pull off the roadway and stop. Do not drive at less than 10 miles
per hour.

·  In RAIN,
FOG, SNOW or SLEET, do not overdrive your headlights.

·  Stay within
the limits of your vision.

·  Keep your
windows clear of snow and ice. Do not start until your windshield is defrosted.

·  Drive slower
and increase your following distance. Your speed should be adjusted for the
conditions and match the flow of traffic.

·  Roadway
conditions may vary depending on the sun, shade or roadway surface. Watch for
slick spots especially under bridges, on overpasses and in shaded spots. Be
prepared to react physically and mentally. 

·  If the
pavement is snow or ice covered, start slowly and brake gently. Beginbraking
early when you come to an intersection.

·  If you start
to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the
skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.

·  When you
approach a snow plow from behind, pass with care and only when you can see
the road ahead of the plow. You should not try to pass in blowing snow. There
may be a vehicle in that cloud of snow! Allow more distance between you and the
plow, they may be spreading salt.

·  Be alert
when you approach a cloud of snow which covers the road, especially on passing
lanes of interstates or freeways. Slow down and approach with caution. A snow
plow may be at work clearing the lane or preparing to turn around.

·  Be careful
after a minor rear end accident. If you are bumped from behind and you do not
feel comfortable exiting your vehicle, motion the other driver and drive to the
nearest police station, 24-hour store, service station, hospital or fire
station.

If you or someone you
love has been involved in a serious Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer Aaron Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384. 

Illinois State Police To Enforce Operation Kyle In Honor Of Fallen Trooper

The life and work of a state trooper
is a tough job. Every time a trooper stops a driver for a traffic violation or
investigates an auto accident scene, they are confronted with the dangers of
other drivers and of course confronting the unknown when approaching a car
window. The Illinois State Police lost one if its own on November 26, 2012 when
trooper Kyle Deatherage was struck by a passing truck during a routine traffic
stop. The Belleville News Democrat reported last month that in
honor of Trooper Deatherage’s death, the State Police would launch operation
Kyle during a 24 hour period throughout the state. 

 “Starting at
midnight the morning of (November) 26, for 24-hours straight, we’re going to
have troopers from all throughout the state enforcing traffic laws, looking for
impaired drivers,” said Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye, Jr. “It’s
dedicated to Trooper Deatherage and his family.”  Troopers hope the
enforcement will serve as a reminder to motorists to slow down and pull over if
they see an emergency vehicle.

“There is no greater tribute than the commitment of all
sworn officers showing their respect, dedication and commitment to Kyle and the
safety of every driver and passenger during this 24-hour period,” said
Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “His life was tragically taken
from his family and police family two days before Thanksgiving and Operation
Kyle will be a strong reminder to the motoring public that safe driving saves
lives.”

“Our number one goal during this 24-hour enforcement
period and through the holiday season is to raise awareness and reduce the
number of fatalities on Illinois roads and highways,” said Illinois State
Police Division of Operations Col. Michael Zerbonia. “Sobriety checkpoints
will also be enforced and DUI violators risk arrest and severe penalties.”

Remember to drive safely throughout the holidays and be wary
of troopers and other who have been pulled over. Traffic is heavy this time of
year and the roads can be slick. Everyone can do their part to try and avoid
car accidents while on the highway.

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

Illinois Tollway Study Shows Majority Of Drivers Do Not Obey Speed Limits

The Chicago Tribune reported this week that recent tollway studies in Illinois revealed that the majority of drivers do not drive within the marked speed limits on highways. Tollway engineers tracked speed limits for drivers along I-94 in Lake County and found that about 1 in 20 drivers obeyed the speed limit. 


The data, gathered in April, May and September, showed that, depending on which tollway stretch was tested, 91 to 98 percent of drivers exceeded the 55 mph speed limit. In those stretches, the average speed ranged from 66 to 70 mph.

The studies followed a 2012 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report that showed that average highway speeds increased to almost 71 mph in 2009 from 65 mph two years earlier. At the same time, traffic accident fatalities — 33,561 last year — are dropping, except for a slight increase in 2012. The report concluded that the higher speeds might have been the product of less speed enforcement in 2009 and fewer cars on the road that year, leading to less congestion.

Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said she was reluctant to draw conclusions from the Tollway data. Vehicles would have been more likely to slow down if their drivers had seen a state police squad car than engineers atop overpasses, she said.

This is an alarming trend and will need to be tracked closely as the speed limit on many Illinois highways will increase to 70 mph on January 1, 2014. Will drivers now feel more confident to drive even faster while on the highway? Will this lead to more car accidents and traffic fatalities? This is a concern that the Illinois Department of Transportation should follow closely along with Illinois lawmakers.

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