Illinois Traffic Fatalities Up In 2017

I wrote a few months back about the increase in traffic fatalities in Illinois and the US in 2016. That trend continues so far in 2017. The Chicago Tribune reported last week that according to the National Safety Council, a safety advocacy group, that traffic fatalities are up 4% during the first half of 2017 versus the first half of 2016.

A spokesperson from the National Safety Council could not give a definitive reason for the increase. Although, they did mention that a couple reasons that could factor into these results are the lack of motorcycle helmet requirement in Illinois plus the increased speed limit on major interstates. Illinois increase their speed limit on certain sections of interstates to 70 mph. The Council also noted that pedestrians and bicyclists continue to be a concern as they are particularly vulnerable in cities with heavy traffic.

There was no discussion in the article or in the National Safety Council’s study about distracted driving or texting and driving.  The Council did warn that these numbers could continue to go up as the second half of the year is typically more deadly. This is due to increased holiday travel and winter weather, which often begins in November in certain parts of the country (including Illinois).

Unfortunately there are no solutions provided by the Council I would recommend, again, putting your phone down when behind the wheel. It is incredibly dangerous to text or search the internet while driving. Also, if you are walking or biking areas with heavy traffic, then always be aware of you surroundings. Sometimes drivers just aren’t paying attention.

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

Illinois Suspends 12 Amusement Rides After Ohio Accident

Multiple news outlets reported earlier this month that the state of Illinois has suspended 12 amusement rides after a fatal accident at an Ohio fair. In Columbus Ohio, an 18-year-old man died after he was thrown into the air and landed about 50 feet away from the swinging and spinning amusement park ride called the Fire Ball. Seven other people were injured as a result of the accident.

In response to this amusement park accident, the Illinois department of labor has decided to suspend 12 rides throughout the states. All 12 rides are manufactured by by KMG, the same Dutch company that makes the Fire Ball.

One of the suspended rides was set to be used at the DuPage County Fair outside of Chicago. The Dupage County Fair commissioner stated the following in response to the state’s decision to suspend on of their rides: All rides have to be inspected by the state, and they get certified and a sticker on them that they have passed inspection through the state. They are inspected each and every time they’re set up at any other event that goes on, usually by the municipality, the fire department in that area. In our case, here, we add one more layer to that. We get both the city and fire department, and then also an inspection team that’s independent.”

The question remains if the current inspection protocol in Illinois is enough to certify rides? Are there steps the state should implement, such as the independent inspection done by the DuPage fair? I would recommend both state and independent inspections be required before certification for state use. Hopefully this will prevent what happened in Ohio.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an Illinois amusement park accident or other personal injury, call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076

Chicago Mayor Introduces Safety Upgrades On City Trucks

The Chicago Tribune reported last month that Mayor Rahm Emanuel received preliminary approval from City Council to install special safeguards on city trucks. The upgrades to city trucks include side guards and additional side mirrors to eliminate blind spots for drivers.

The purpose of these upgrades is to help the make the streets safer for bicyclists. According to the article, this type of safety equipment is being installed on trucks in other large cities throughout the country. The cost for these upgrades is estimated at $400,000 annually, which will cost about $3,300 per vehicle. By 2026,  1,700 city trucks will have the new equipment. Contractors with city work will be expected to upgrade 25 percent of their trucks each year, with their full fleets having the guards and mirrors installed in four years.

Although Mayor Emanuel has taken a lot of heat the last few years regarding the red light and speeder cameras, but I applaud him for the steps he has taken to help protect bicyclists and pedestrians. Chicagoans know that this is one of the best cities in the country for bicyclists, with dedicated bike lanes and special guard rails, being installed at a rapid rate. Hopefully this will be another step in preventing bicycle accidents in Chicago.

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