Fiat Chrysler Issues Minivan Recall

Multiple news outlets reported this week that Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall of 208,000 Pacifica minivans due to a power-assisted steering and engine stall issues. The company stated that a wiring harness can become contaminated with sealer, causing an electrical short-circuit, which can increase the risk of a car crash. The company also stated that if the engines stall they can be restarted immediately, and the vehicles can still be steered without power steering, but it takes more effort.

Luckily, to date, no traffic accidents or traffic fatalities have been reported. If you own one of these vehicle, please take your vehicle in to your dealer to have it serviced and the parts replaced immediately.

In cases like this, where an auto accident occurs due to a malfunction from the from the vehicle’s equipment and it can proved that the malfunction caused the accident to occur, then the manufacturer can ultimately be liable for any damages. These are typically considered “auto defect” cases, where the injured party files suit against the automaker and at times the manufacturer and distributor of the actual piece of equipment that is deemed defective. If you have been injured by what appears to be an auto defect, then you should consult an attorney immediately.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured due to a Chicago auto defect or a Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

New Study Shows Ride Share Companies Have Increased Traffic Congestion

A new study published this week by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the University of Kentucky, found that ride-share cars were responsible for more than half of the increase of traffic congestion in the city of San Francisco . The study, which was published in
journal “Science Advances,” concluded that commuters spent 62 percent more time in traffic in 2016 than they did in 2010, which was the year ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft became available in San Francisco.

The researchers tracked ride-share pickups and drop-offs in San Francisco during a six-week period in 2016. They found that most occurred in parts of the city that already were highly congested and at times when traffic was at its worst, concluding that rather than taking cars off the road, ride-share apps were increasing traffic congestion in downtown San Francisco.

After finding that traffic levels in San Francisco had increased sharply from 2010 to 2016, researchers used a computer simulation to show how traffic would have changed over the same six-year period in the absence of ride-sharing and found that traffic rose only 22 percent in the “counterfactual” model.

These results lead us to conclude that transportation network companies are the biggest factor driving the rapid growth of congestion and deterioration of travel time reliability in San Francisco,” the researchers wrote. “These findings are of interest to transportation planners, to policy makers and to the general public in San Francisco and other large cities.”

The question remains, what do major cities like Chicago do with this data? Can Chicago transportation officials conclude that the continued traffic congestion in our city is being caused by the influx in ride share users? I think it is pretty clear cities like Chicago need to continue to invest in public transportation. They have done so in the past few years, but improvements are still needed. I think city officials need to consider additional train lines that could cover more parts of the West and Northwest sides of the city. Further, city officials along with CTA, need to focus on making public transportation as smooth, safe and enjoyable for rider as possible. They should attempt to make the rider want to use a bus or train (i.e. making the stations safe as possible along with shorter commute times).

Also, the city needs to continue, as it has done, to invest in bicycle lanes and bike sharing. This was a major focus of Rahm Emanuel’s administration. Let’s hope that incomiming mayor Lori Lightfoot continues to invest in these initiatives.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Officials Break Ground On New CTA Bus Only Lane

NBC News Chicago reported last week that Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance, in a groundbreaking ceremony, unveiled five ((5) new bus only traffic lanes. These are in addition to the bus only lanes that currently run in the downtown loop on Madison and Washington Streets.

Construction on the new lanes took place on North May, Chicago, LaSalle and Western Avenues. According to the Transportation Alliance, the new lanes will increase ridership, shorten bus commutes and hopefully decrease traffic congestion. “For Chicago to be a more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable city, we need to move people more efficiently. Bus lanes are a good way to do that,” Ron Burke, the Executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance, said.

The Active Transportation Alliance says that incoming Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot supports expanding the program, and their goal is to add 50 miles of designated bus lanes over the next four years.

These new loop link lanes downtown look nice, but I think it’s unclear as to whether they have actually shortened commute times or helped with traffic. Part of the problem is that normal vehicles and bicyclists can often be seen using those lanes as well, which in turn can back up traffic. City officials have said they are going to start issuing tickets to drivers who drive in these bus only lanes. There was no mention by city officials as to what they expect the effect these new lanes will have on traffic safety or decreasing traffic accidents.

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

Illinois Tollways Is Partnering With Waze App

The Chicago Tribune reported last month that the Illinois Tollway will be partnering with the popular maps and traffic app Waze to create faster traffic alerts. Since February of this year the Illinois Tollway and Waze have been sharing its’ traffic data with each other. Waze has been sending info regarding traffic incidents such as debris on the road, stalls and potholes. The Illinois Tollway, for its’ part, has been sharing with Waze any incidents related to lane blockages, including crashes, stalls and the locations of Tollway help trucks.

All of this information from the Waze partnership is made available directly to the phones of Waze users. The moment one of the Tollway’s help trucks turns on its lights, a signal is sent directly to Waze notifying users of a stopped vehicle at that location. According to this report the costs of the partnership have been small, and involved tweaks to the Tollway’s web servers and other equipment.

This is an excellent example of the progress that can made from a partnership between the public and private sectors. The goal for both entities is to provide a safe and hopefully quicker commute for drivers. I will be interested in seeing any data as time progressives as to whether this partnership has helped decrease traffic accidents and traffic congestion.

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