Jaguar’s New Technology Aimed At Protecting Bicyclists

Autoweek.com published an article last month discussing Jaguar’s new “bike sense” technology, which is aimed at protecting bicyclists and Jaguar drivers from being involved in traffic accidents.

Bike Sense system uses sensors on the car to detect approaching bicycles and motorcycles, and alert the driver with sights and sounds that the driver instinctively associates with those two types of vehicles. So if a bicycle is approaching from the rear right side of the car, the audio system in the car will generate a bicycle bell sound from one of the speakers inside the cabin, in same direction as the approaching bicycle. The system will also be able to monitor the speed of approaching bicycles and motorcycles, and the top of the driver’s seat will extend to tap the driver on the right or left shoulder.

In addition to warning the driver by sound and by touch, Bike Sense will also use a matrix of LED light built into the window sills, the dash, and windscreen pillars, with lights glowing amber and switching to red as a bicycle approaches.  Bike Sense will also be able to detect pedestrians crossing the road in front of a moving car who are obscured by other objects.

This technology is still in testing stages but could be installed in Jaguar vehicles by the end of the decade. This is incredible technology in my mind. It is especially relevant in big cities such as Chicago that are bicycle friendly. There are always safety concerns for pedestrians and bicyclists in Chicago and Mayor Emanuel has done a solid job of promoting safety initiatives such has safer crosswalks with stop signs and designated bike lanes. Technology like “Bike Sense,” if developed by other car makers, could make a huge difference in the safety for both pedestrians and bicyclists in big cities like Chicago.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago auto pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Will Red Light Cameras Affect The Chicago Mayoral Race?

The primary for Chicago’s mayoral race takes place tomorrow. There are a myriad of the usual issues that the candidates have debated such as the closing of schools and crime rates on the south side. Once issue that keeps popping up are red light cameras.

An article from Reuters published last week discussed why this is such a hot button issue. Three of Rahm Emanuel’s challengers have a called for the end of red light cameras. According to a

Chicago Tribune poll three out of four people want to see the end of these cameras. Despite public outcry, Emanuel has continued to support red light cameras. He has continuously touted that these cameras are necessary for public safety purposes.

The cameras, which have brought in a reported $500 million to the city since 2003, do not necessarily make intersections safer. A Texas A&M study, which I have written about multiple times, concluded that there was no net safety benefit to the cameras. T-bone car accidents have declined in these intersections but rear-end traffic accidents have actually increased according to the study. So what is the benefit other than money to the city?

It will be interesting to see the results tomorrow and also if we can learn whether Emanuel’s stance on red light cameras will affect the outcome of the election. Is it an issue that will push one of the challengers over the top and force Emanuel to a runoff in May? I am thinking probably not despite the polling from the Tribune. If anything will help one of the challengers tomorrow it will be on the issue something like school closings or a potential teachers strike. We’ll find out tomorrow night.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076

How Much Will A Car Crash Affect Your Insurance Rates In Illinois?

 

The Chicago Tribune posted an interesting article last month about the effects that car accidents can have on insurance premiums in Illinois.

According to a study by Insurancequotes.com, if a 45-year-old married woman in Illinois with a perfect driving record and excellent credit has just one car accident where she is at fault, a claim of $2,000 or more will increase her insurance rates 35 percent.

What happens if this person is involved in a second auto accident in the same year? She’d pay 104 percent more for car insurance than a claim-free driver.

The insurance quote company hired Quadrant Information Services to conduct the study, which looked at six large carriers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It assumed a $2,000 claim and policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage.

Some states are worse than others according to this study. In Massachusetts, someone who’s at-fault auto accident there increases premiums by 76 percent versus the national average of 41 percent.  In California filing a bodily injury claim in that state will drive up insurance costs 86 percent.

Injuries are by far the most costly of claims for insurance companies because hospitals and treating physicians are much more expensive than auto body shops. The average bodily injury claim cost $15,443 in 2013 versus the average property damage claim of $3,231.

Also, important to point out is if the traffic accident is the other drivers fault, their insurance kicks in and should not affect your rates.

Regardless, it is important to drive carefully, obviously for your health and the health of others. But, as this study points out, it’s also important to drive safely for your pocketbook.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Could The City Of Chicago Face Liability In Fatal Lincoln Park Car Crash?

Multiple news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune and DNAinfo.com, reported last month about a car crash on Lake Shore Drive where a vehicle lost control and skidded into the rowing lagoon just south of Diversey Harbor in Lincoln Park. The driver of the vehicle, Rafael Rodriguez, survived the auto accident but the passenger, Claudia Beruben, was pronounced dead later that night.

This is a very sad case as it was reported that Ms. Beruben left behind a three year old daughter. In a case like this a wrongful death lawsuit could be made by the Ms. Beruben’s estate to provide compensation for her child. The first, and most obvious, defendant in this case would be Mr. Rodriguez. He has already been charged with felony DUI, reckless driving and speeding as it is alleged that he was driving 90 mph on Lake Shore drive, weaving in and out of traffic and had a blood alcohol content double the legal limit. Negligence will be alleged on this count and should easily prevail. Mr. Rodriguez, based on news reports, was not driving as a reasonable person should in that situation.

The second, and more important question, that Ms. Beruben’s attorneys must ask, is whether the city’s actions (or lack of actions) could have prevented her death. News reports have stated that the guard rail was missing in the area where Mr. Rodriguez skid into the lagoon. Apparently it had been removed for repairs following a different accident. There are difficulties involved with suing a government entity. One cannot sue the city of Chicago for simple negligence due to tort immunities. In order for Ms. Beruben’s estate to prevail against the city would be to show that they behaved in a willful and wanton manor by failing to have the guardrail replaced. Willful and wanton is a higher standard than negligence but it does not necessarily mean that the act has to be intentional. Willful and wanton can involve reckless indifference or a conscience disregard for the safety for others. So the attorney’s for Ms. Beruben’s estate must investigate the exact circumstances for the missing guard rail and why it had not been replaced. Was it missing for days? For weeks? This appears to be a precarious location of Lake Shore Drive to have a missing guard rail, and something that should have been replaced immediately even if it required something temporary. If attorneys can provide enough evidence that the city should have replaced this guard rail sooner, then they could convince a jury that the cities actions were willful and wanton and should be liable, or at least partially liable, for the death of Ms. Beruben.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or has a Chicago wrongful death claim, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Winter Driving Tips From The Illinois State Police

We were kind of lucky this winter in Chicago. December and January were fairly mild and we didn’t see a lot of ice or snow. That changed last week when the area was hit with what some are saying the 6th largest blizzard in Chicago history. Up to nineteen (19) inches of snow fell in certain parts of the metropolitan area.

With winter weather can com treacherous driving conditions. There is snow to deal with along with black ice and the resulting pot holes (though the city seems to be taking better care of these this year). The Illinois State Police have posted on their website some useful tips on how to prepare for winter driving and what to do in case you are stuck or have car issues.

What to do before driving in winter weather:

  1. Plan your travel, selecting both primary and alternate routes.
  2. Let someone know your travel routes and itinerary so that, if you don’t arrive on time, officials will know where to search for you.
  3. Check latest weather information on your radio.
  4. Try not to travel alone – two or three people are preferable.
  5. Travel in convoy (with another vehicle) if possible.
  6. Drive carefully and defensively. Watch for ice patches on bridges and overpasses.
  7. If a storm begins to be too much for you to handle, seek refuge immediately.
  8. If your car should become disabled, stay with the vehicle, running your engine and heater for short intervals. Be sure to “crack” a window in the vehicle to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.

Here are some tips what to check in your vehicle before driving during the winter:

  1. ignition system
  2. fuel system
  3. brakes
  4. exhaust system
  5. wiper blades
  6. snow tires
  7. tire tread
  8. defroster
  9. proper grade oil
  10. cooling system
  11. battery
  12. lights
  13. antifreeze

Finally, here are a list of items to store in your vehicle in case of winter emergencies. Especially if you are driving long distances:

  1. or 3 pound coffee can (punch 3 holes at the top of can, equal distance apart)
  2. 60-inch length of twine or heavy string (cut into 3 equal pieces – used to suspend can)
  3. 3 large safety pins (tie string to safety pins and pin to car roof interior to suspend can over candle)
  4. 1 candle 2″ diameter (place on lid under suspended can for melting snow)
  5. 1 pocket knife, reasonably sharp (or substitute with scissors)
  6. 3 pieces of bright cloth 2″ wide x 36″ long (tie to antenna or door handle)
  7. Several packets of soup, hot chocolate, tea, bouillon cubes, etc. (mixed into melted snow to provide warmth and nutrition)
  8. 1 small package of peanuts (provides protein) & fruit-flavored candy (orange slices, jelly beans, etc.-avoid chocolate)
  9. 1 pair of athletic socks (cotton) and 1 pair of glove liners (cotton)
  10. 2 packages of book matches
  11. 1 sun shield blanket or 2 large green or black plastic leaf bags (to reflect body heat)
  12. 1 pen light and batteries (keep separate)

Be careful the rest of this winter season and remember if you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Corn Farmers File Hundred Of Lawsuits Against Swiss Company, Sygenta

The Associated Press reported last week about a large number of lawsuits filed by corn farmers around the country against Syngenta for their sale of a corn seed called Agrisure Viptera, which was genetically altered to contain a protein that kills corn-eating bugs such as earworms and cutworms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved it in 2010, and Syngenta first sold it to farmers in 2011.

China, a growing importer of U.S. corn that refuses to buy genetically modified crops it hasn’t tested, had not approved Viptera when Syngenta began selling it. In November 2013, China discovered the Viptera corn trait in several U.S. shipments.

It began rejecting U.S. corn imports in February 2014. The lawsuits say it rejected more than 131 million bushels.

Loss of revenue to the U.S. corn industry has been estimated by the National Grain and Feed Association, a trade group, at between $1 billion and $3 billion. Farmers who did not plant the Syngenta seed, grain handlers and exporters claim they lost money because of the Chinese boycott of U.S. corn and corn byproducts.

These lawsuits filed by corn farmers are classified as a mass-tort litigation.  A mass tort law suit is when multiple plaintiff’s file similar lawsuits against a particular defendant or group defendants whom have all allegedly been harmed by the same malfeasance. In this case the corn farmers are alleging they have been harmed economically by the drop in corn price, among other things such us additional storage and transportation costs. This is similar to the lawsuits that car manufacturers often face when they mass produce a defective auto part and thus harm the value of thousands of vehicles that they put into the stream of commerce. These types of lawsuits are different than class actions because each of the plaintiff’s file individual lawsuits. The one similarity is that mass tort lawsuits are typically grouped together or consolidated into a big group in one federal jurisdiction.

If the the corn farmers can prove that the Syngenta did manufacture a defective product that hurt the price of corn, then they could be on the hook for millions if not billions of dollars to corn farmers around the country.

If you are a corn farmer or know a corn farmer, then refer them to Chicago attorney, Aaron Bryant, for free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Mayor’s Motorcade Racks Up Multiple Red Light Camera Infractions

This latest news report is too good to pass up. It is actually funny when you think about it. Red light and speed cameras are an issue that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has touted the last several years and has continuously stated that they are implemented as a safety issue, not a money maker. Well, WGN News reported a few weeks back that Mayor Emanuel’s motorcade has been caught running through red light cameras five (5) times since November 2014. The mayor’s response to these tickets: “Since there’s a tail car, there are some instances where they need to get through a light because they can’t get separated from the first car.”

I will give the mayor credit for stating that he is going to pay the tickets.  “I said I was gonna pay it, that’s what it means when you’re not above the law. That couldn’t be clearer.”

The reason I’m posting this and why I find it so amusing is that Emanuel has repeatedly stated that red light cameras are here to protect drivers and pedestrians. Yet, he seems ok with letting his driver knowingly and purposely ignore red lights. Luckily know auto accidents have resulted from any of this red light violations. Mayoral candidate and current Alderman, Bob Fioretti, has stated that he is going to submit legislation in April that would ban red light cameras. I wonder what Mayor Emanuel’s response will be at that time.

If you someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.