Do’s And Dont’s When Involved In A Car Accident

It is summertime and there are more vehicle out on the road right now than any other time of year. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of car and truck accidents. If you are in a situation where you become involved in a traffic accident, it is incredibly important follow specific steps in order to protect your rights.

Below is a comprehensive list of things to do and not do if involved in a car crash:

• Do get names, addresses, license plate and phone numbers of those drivers involved. This includes any witnesses;
• Do call the police immediately or have someone at the scene call for you;
• Do take photographs of scene and injuries;
• Do take care of your injuries-concentrate on getting better (i.e. go to the emergency room or set an appointment with your primary care physician);
• Do keep records of your medical treatment and time missed from work;       • Do make sure to purchase adequate full coverage auto insurance, including uninsured motorist coverage in case you are struck by an uninsured driver or the victim of a hit and run;
• Don’t talk or give statement to the other driver’s insurance company;
• Don’t attempt to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company before your medical treatment is completed;
• Don’t wait months from the date of injury before hiring an attorney, as your right to file claim or lawsuit may be barred; and
• Don’t wait days or weeks from the time you are injured to seek medical attention. Your health comes first and also insurance companies are wary of paying for medical bills if treatment is postponed.

This is not an exhaustive list, but they are simple steps you can take in order to protect your rights as accident victim. Should you or a loved become seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, at 312-614-1076 for a free legal consultation.

Chicago To Add Five New Speeder Cameras This Summer

The Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) announced last week that they would be adding five (5) new speeder cameras around the city by the end of the summer. Two (2) of the cameras will be placed at Hiawatha and Kosciuszko parks on the Northwest Side. The other three (3) cameras will be placed near Major Hector P. Garcia MD High School on the Southwest Side, Near North Montessori School on the Near Northwest Side and Gary Comer College Prep High School on the South Side.

CDOT told the Chicago Tribune that ““Automated speed enforcement is a proven deterrent to speeding, and one of the most effective tools in our toolbox for reducing speeding and saving lives.” They further pointed out that this was another step in Mayor Emanuel’s “Vision Zero” plan, which is aimed at eliminating all traffic accident deaths by the year 2026.

I have written on the site multiple times about red light and speed cameras. Based on multiple studies (and a bribery scandal), the red light cameras have come under a lot of scrutiny for any safety value added to the community. On the other hand, speeder cameras, have not undergone as much scrutiny. For one, they are newer to Chicago and we don’t know the actual net impact they are providing for motorists and pedestrian safety. According to CDOT, safety cameras are actually making streets and walkways safer throughout the city. According to the Department the number of speeding violations has been trending down in areas with speed cameras since they were deployed in 2014, and average traffic speed has dropped from 26 mph to 22.5 mph. Crash data also show that the number of car crashes in areas with speed cameras was down 4 percent in 2015 compared to 2013, while for the rest of the city crashes were up 13 percent.

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

Traffic Light Funding Approved For Deadly Stretch Of Devon Ave

NBC 5 reported last month that funding for a new traffic light has finally been approved on Devon Avenue near Le Mai Street in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood. This stretch of Devon has dubbed “Devon Speedway” by local residents as drivers are known to zoom by at rates of 60 mph despite a speed limit of 30. The funding finally came to fruition after a young man was rear-ended on his motorcycle and killed last month. This was one of multiple deadly traffic accidents in this area over the last several years. 39th Ward Alderman Margaret Laurino informed news outlets after this last car crash that funding had been had finally been approved for a new traffic light.

It’s a shame that it has taken the city this long to approve a traffic light that was obviously needed years ago. According to this report, a study was supposed to have been performed by the city’s department of transportation (CDOT) back in 2013. The family of deceased motorcycle driver will more than likely file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who rear-ended him. I think there is also potential to name the city of Chicago in this lawsuit. Government entities typically have immunity to lawsuits involving negligence unless the entity had notice of the issue (here lack of traffic light) and failed to address the issue. Here the deceased’s family could argue that the city knew as far back as 2013 that this stretch of Devon Avenue was incredibly dangerous and there had been requests for a traffic light, yet they waited five (5) years and after the most recent car accident death to provide the appropriate funding.

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

Study Shows Illinois One Of The Toughest States On Speeders

A new study performed by Wallethub.com looked a the speeding and reckless driving laws for all 50 states and Washington D.C. Illinois had the 4th strictest rating for speeders and and 16th for reckless driver laws. Illinois’ overall rank was 8. More specifically, Illinois had the number 1 rank of drivers with at least one (1) speeding ticket toward a suspension.  They had the 3rd highest ranking for fines for a first time reckless driving ticket.

The last several years this blog has focused highly on distracted driving and the effects of phone use while driving. The evidence shows that texting and driving has become an epidemic in the country. Regardless, it is important to point out (as does this Wallethub study) that excessive speeding is just as dangerous and costly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),  in 2016, speeding was a factor in 27 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths. The NHTSA also pointed out that estimated that the annual economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is $40.4 billion. Folks, it’s ok to slow down.

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

Arizona Back-Up Uber Driver Was Watching TV On Her Phone At Time Of Fatal Crash

I wrote several months ago about the self-driving Uber accident that killed a pedestrian. It was unclear at the time whether the self-braking system had failed or whether the pedestrian who walked out onto the street gave the vehicle enough time to stop.

Many of those questions have now been answered in a 300 page accident report from the Tempe, Arizona police. Apparently the back-up driver was watching the television show “The Voice” on her phone when the car crash occurred. The report concludes that if the driver would have been paying attention to the road rather than her phone, she could have braked on time as she could have reacted 143 feet prior to striking the pedestrian.

The National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”), released a separate report last month, which said the autonomous driving system on Uber’s Volvo XC-90 SUV spotted the pedestrian about six seconds before hitting her, but did not stop because the system used to automatically apply brakes in potentially dangerous situations had been disabled. Thus, the duty of stopping on time for pedestrians or other vehicles was left to the back-up driver.

The family of the deceased pedestrian has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against both the driver and Uber. In most states, Uber insures their driver’s vehicles up to 1 million dollars per accident. I’d imagine that the family of the deceased are seeking over 1 million and to collect over the policy limits they would need to allege in their complaint and prove that Uber was negligent in the training and supervision of their driver (i.e. the driver was not made sufficiently aware that the self-driving brake system would not stop in certain situations).  Maybe the drivers are overly reliant on the autonomous braking system, and that they should have been trained to be more vigilant even when the self-driving program is on. The family could also allege that Uber’s technology was faulty or that it should not have been disabled, especially at night. I will be following this case as it progresses.

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

Chicago’s Lakefront Trail Construction To Be Completed By End Of Year

The Chicago Sun Times reported last week about the construction developments for the lakefront trail. According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), all efforts to revamp the trail will be completed by the end of 2018.

The purpose for all of the construction that has taken place the last several years has been to create separate lanes for cyclists and runners/walkers. Their goal is to make a safer path, which would reduce the number of collisions between bikers and runners.

The remaining construction includes the Navy Pier flyover, which included a ramp that will carry users over two busy intersections and connect to the Lake Shore Drive underpass. Currently, pedestrians and cyclists have to use the sidewalk underneath Lakeshore Drive, which is often congested and dangerous.

Much of the construction is complete, which covers an eighteen (18) mile stretch from Ardmore on the North side to 71st street on the South side. There are pockets where construction is set to start in August, but is said to be complete by the end of the year.

I have praised this construction project since it was announced over a year ago. Separate lanes for cyclists and runners was a bold project, but it seems to be working. The areas where the construction is complete has made the lakefront much less congested, which will hopefully  lead to less accidents.

Should you or a loved one be injured in a Chicago bicycle accident, or Chicago car accident, please call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

City of Chicago To Use Data And Analytics To Reduce Car Crashes

The City of Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) issued a press release this week regarding their “Vision Zero” plan, which is an effort to eliminate all pedestrian traffic deaths in the city by the year 2026. The plan was introduced one year ago.

As part of their  release, CDOT announced it has entered a data partnership with Arity, a subsidiary of The Allstate Insurance. Arity is a connected car technology company that collects nearly one billion miles of driving and connected car data per month from more than one million mobile phone and in-car devices. Arity has a unique, user centric view of a city’s mobility patterns and ability to identify driving behaviors that carry the most risk and cause severe traffic accidents.  CDOT stated that it will be using the data and predictive analytics to better understand the risk factors of specific segments of roadways and intersections throughout Chicago.

From the release: “partnership will be used help the City identify the risk factors on specific roadways and help determine where to best prioritize and focus investments in infrastructure and traffic safety resources, as well as how to tailor interventions to improve road safety in Chicago.”

I think this is an incredibly important investment by the city.  I imagine that the use of this advanced data will  city will be able to determine where to put additional cross-walk and pedestrian signs, where to add four-way stops, where widen roads and I’m sure other safety measures.

It’s interesting that this was just announced. As I wrote within the last few weeks, pedestrian deaths in Chicago are outpacing the number of fatalities over the last several years. “Vision Zero” is off to a slow start, but hopefully this partnership with Arity will help curb that trend.

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

Jeep Cherokee And Ford Explorer Receive Worst Grades On Crash Test

Multiple news outlets reported this week that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed crash tests on eight (8) different SUV vehicles. The crash test mimics what would be considered a violent and dangerous type of collision. Of all the vehicles tested, the Jeep Cherokee and the Ford Explorer were the only vehicles to receive a “poor” rating.

In the test, a vehicle is propelled at 40 miles an hour and strikes a barrier with just the outermost part of the bumper on the passenger’s side. It is designed to mimic the impact of a vehicle with another car or a tree or pole with just the outer part of the bumper. The occupant compartment on the Grand Cherokee was also crushed inward in the test. The crash test dummy’s head sunk into the front airbag so far that it hit the dashboard. Also, the side airbag failed to deploy while driver’s side door also opened. That allowed the dummy’s head to move outside the vehicle. Leg injuries were seen as likely and head injuries possible.

In a response email, Ford stated: “In an email, Ford said that the Explorer is safe, and has earned top scores in all other crash tests. The automaker added that a new version of the Explorer will go on sale next year, and that it expects that car will earn top scores in all Insurance Institute and government crash tests, including the small overlap test.”

What does this mean for both of these car makers? For one, I think it opens the door for auto defect lawsuits if serious injuries result from these types of crashes. In most jurisdictions (states), there are two (2) types of auto defect claims. The first is an auto product liability case, which arises when a car defect causes the accident which results in serious injury or death.  These types of auto defects are referred to as crash causing defects.  An example of a crash causing auto defect is the tread separation of a defective tire which results in the driver losing control of the vehicle.

The second type of auto defect case arises when a vehicle fails to provide reasonable crash protection to its occupants.  This type of case is often referred to as a crash worthiness case.

For the above vehicles, if there are cases where drivers are seriously injured in violent crashes as described above, I think we could see a rise in crash worthiness auto defect lawsuits against both car makers.

If you or a loved one has been 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.

Active Transportation Alliance Calls For Safety Improvements On Chicago’s Roads

An alarming eighteen (18) pedestrians have been struck and killed in Chicago this year. That is up from a total of fourteen (14) through all of 2017. The Chicago Sun Times reported today that the Active Transportation Alliance, a community protection group, is calling for immediate changes from city legislators.  The group is calling for proposing lower speed limits, more speed cameras and a $20 million-a-year fund to pay for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Vision Zero,” which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2026.

The group is asking that the money go to multiple improvements including: better-lit crosswalks and countdown timers; pedestrian-refuge islands on wider streets; narrowing streets and re-striping the width of lanes to force motorists to slow down and installing bump-out curbs that force turning vehicles to go slower and make wider turns.

Neither Mayor Emanuel or the cities’ transportation department has responded to these requests by the Active Transportation Alliance.

I think most of these improvements are needed. My only issue has to do with the speeder cameras. I don’t think there is enough evidence yet showing that these cameras are an actual deterrent or make our streets safer. As I have written multiple times in the past, we know for sure that the red light cameras have not made intersections safer. Multiple studies from Texas A&M University have shown that overall the cameras have not actually reduced accidents. I think the jury is still out on the speeder cameras.

If you or a loved one 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.

Apple Introducing App To Curb Smart Phone Addiction

CBS News reported this week that Apple is introducing a new app to help people that may be addicted to – – yes this is correct – – their own telephone. The new app will allow users to set limits on the phone in general, or choose to set limits for certain apps, such as social media. When the limit is reached, the device will shut down. Those who choose to use this new feature can also sync the monitor limits among devices, so you can’t switch over and keep surfing on your iPad or Macbook. Google also announced plans to help monitor smartphone use on Android devices.

Full disclosure, if my wife reads this I’m certain she will ask me to download this app immediately and ask me to apply it toward my Twitter usage. Regardless, this will be interesting technology that car makers and lawmakers to look at regarding phone use in vehicles. With the epidemic of distracted driving traffic accidents occurring in our country, I wonder if this type of technology could be used to prevent hand held phone use for drivers. Currently, laws banning cell phone use while driving is not preventing the number of car accidents around the country.

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 J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.