Eastern Illinois Assistant Football Coach Dies In One-Car Accident

The Chicago Tribune reported over the weekend that Eastern Illinois University offensive line coach, Jeff Hoover, died from injuries suffered from a one-car accident.

The accident occurred when Hoover, along with his family and EIU strength coach Eric Cash and his family, were returning from Carbondale, Ill., where Eastern Illinois had lost to Southern Illinois 48-7 in a first-round playoff game. The vehicle they were driving swerved to miss a deer and rolled over.

Hoover, 41, just finished his third season as the Panthers’ offensive line coach. He had served previously as an assistant coach at Portland State, Utah State, Henderson State and UC-Davis, his alma mater.

Two people were released from the hospital early Sunday morning, while all others involved in the accident were transported to Carle Hospital in Champaign, Ill., for further observation.

Hoover began his coaching career as the offensive line coach at UC-Davis in 1991. He coached the offensive and defensive lines for the Sacramento Attack of the Arena Football League in 1992 before spending two seasons at Claremont McKenna College.

In addition to his wife, Hoover is survived by two children — his daughter, Lauren, and son, Cole.

This is a very sad story as Coach Hoover had two young children. This type of accident is not rare this time of year as this is deer hunting season. It is not unusual to see deer coming and going across public highways and streets, especially at night. It is very important to drive carefully at night as deer can appear out of nowhere.

Should you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident or truck accident, then contact attorney Aaron Bryant to discuss your case and for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

Power Windows May Pose Risk To Children

The New York Times recently reported that a consumer group is urging the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration to require special safety requirements in all cars using power windows.

“It just kind of defies logic why anyone would allow a product to continue to be made in a fashion that is knowingly killing, maiming, crushing, and responsible for amputation,” said Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org in Leawood, Kan. The group wants the federal agency to require automakers to equip all power windows with an auto-reverse feature, so that a window would automatically stop and open if it encountered an obstruction while closing.

However, the agency says in various regulatory documents that several new safety requirements involving power windows show it is doing a good job tackling what it describes as “a small, but persistent problem.”

The agency estimates there are 1,995 injuries – mostly minor – and six deaths a year related to power windows. It says its figures are based on “verifiable police and medical reports of injuries directly related to power-window accidents,” including surveys of emergency rooms and checks of other records.

The agency does not see this as a widespread problem. In regulatory documents, it says it is aware of “only one documented case of a fatality in which a driver may have closed a window while unaware that a child was being entrapped in the window opening.”

As part of its required study, the agency figured if automakers were required to put auto-reverse on all power windows using a more demanding United States standard, the cost would be about $588 million annually. It would save two lives and prevent 997 injuries.

Ms. Fennell says she believes auto-reverse could be installed on all power windows for about $150 million by using a slightly different but still effective standard.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers supports the agency’s proposal to require automatic reversing only on one-touch up windows, says spokesman Wade Newton. He said the association feels auto-reverse is not necessary on windows without a one-touch feature because of the other recently adopted safety requirements like pull-up-to-close switches.

To read the complete story, click here.

It will be interesting to see if how much pressure this consumer group will put on lawmakers and on the NHSTA and whether any new changes will take places.

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

New Technology Helps Drivers Put Their Phones Down

The New York Times recently reported about new devices being installed into cars, which allows drivers to put their phones down when on the road.

In 2008, 918,000 hands-free systems were installed in cars, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. By the end of 2009, the industry group estimates, that figure will climb to 1.6 million systems. In many cases, hands-free kits are packaged with other options that together cost around $1,000. “We are trying to take what people are doing and make it safer,” said Doug VanDagens, the director of Ford’s Sync project. “Voice provides the safest options and keeps the driver’s eyes on the road.”

Manufacturers of such systems argue that their products make driving safer. As proof, they point to a Virgina TechTransportation Institute study published this summer that concluded that hands-free conversations were only a minor distraction to drivers.

But not everyone agrees that this technology is the safest option.

Studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for example, show that drivers are four times more likely to have a car accident if they are talking on the phone — hands-free or not — while driving.

The reason, researchers say, is that drivers often become engrossed in their conversation, rather than focusing on driving, even if their hands are on the wheel. “Once a conversation begins, we don’t see a difference between hand-held and hands-free,” says Adrian Lund, president of the institute.

To read the entire story, click here.

I have written in the past about the dangers of talking on cell phones and texting while driving. The new technology being introduced is a positive sign that car companies are looking to make the roads safer for everyone. I look forward to seeing the introduction of new technology in the coming months.

If you or someone you know was involved in a car accident or truck accident, then call attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Stresses Safe Parties Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), issued a press release this week urging families and friends to provide a safe environment for their parties over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The release suggested people take the following steps when planning their Thanksgiving parties:

  • Designate a sober driver before celebrations begin.
  • Never serve those under the age of 21 alcohol.
  • Plan safe parties, including providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests and not serving alcohol the last hour of the gathering
  • Be prepared to get everyone home safe in case your plans or individual circumstances change 
  • To read the entire press release, click here.
    Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family and friends, and let’s be honest, these get togethers almost always include alcohol. Help each other out and prevent drunk driving by following the above tips.

    If you or someone you know has been hit by a drunk driver, or has been involved in a car accident or truck accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

    Illinois Police To Add Patrols During Holidays To Rude Crashes

    The Illinois State Police have announced that they are going to increase their patrols over the holiday season to hopefully decrease the number of car accidents throughout the state.

    Many departments are participating in a statewide initiative called Operation Save 100, aimed to decrease by 100 the number of vehicle-related fatalities in Illinois until Jan. 31, 2010.

    “We’re going to do some saturated seat belt patrols, and we will be concentrating on various violations,” Spring Grove Police Chief Tom Sanders said.

    He said increased seat belt use would safeguard travelers against winter weather conditions, as well as drunk or aggressive drivers heading home from holiday parties.

    “When the conditions are icy and bad, it’s even more important,” Sanders said.

    On the night before Thanksgiving, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office would conduct two initiatives, one that focused on seat belt and car seat use and another that would target drunken driving.

    The sheriff’s office is teaming up with Huntley Police and the Illinois State Police for the drunken driving enforcement.

    Sheriff Keith Nygren credited such enforcement initiatives with contributing to the declining vehicle-related fatality rate in the county.

    “Focused and intense traffic enforcement can make a difference, … and that is what this is all about,” he said.

    To read the complete story, click here.

    Please be careful when driving over the holidays. There are a lot of crazy drivers out there and the roads can be treacherous.

    If you or someone you know has been involved in a car crash or truck accident, then contact attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

    Suspended License Could Lead To An Impounded Car In Chicago

    The Chicago Tribune recently reported that the Chicago City Counsel has their eye on improving public safety by hammering down on drivers that are caught and ticketed with a suspended license. The new ordinance requires that drivers will pay $665 ($500 fine and $165 towing fee) to retrieve their cars.

    Ald. Thomas Allen, 38th, acknowledged his ordinance, which takes effect Jan. 1, isn’t perfect. But he said it’s a strong deterrent for scofflaws who were repeat offenders among the 22,904 citations Chicago police issued last year for driving with a suspended license.

    “You’re not going to eradicate the 22,000-plus cases of people getting pulled over for this,” Allen said. “But if they have to pay this $665 every time, it’s going to give them pause.”

    The new rule gained momentum after Allen brought up the case of James E. Cox, who was cited more than a dozen times with driving without a valid license but kept driving, records show. Cox is now charged with causing the Oct. 21 wreck that killed Kim Brown, a 27-year-old pregnant mother of five, as she stood on a West Side sidewalk.

    Allen pointed out Cox would have racked up thousands of dollars in fines to keep his car on the road before the accident that killed Brown. “He would have thought twice before driving again, facing those costs,” Allen said.

    This is an aggressive move by the Chicago City Counsel, which has public safety in mind and will hopefully lead to a decrease in car accidents around town.

    To read the complete story, click here.

    If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, truck accident or motorcycle accident, then call attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

    Illinois Department Of Transportation Issues Winter Driving Tips

    Winter is right around the corner and the Illinois Department of Transportation has issued a list of tips to help deal with the treacherous road ahead.

    IDOT recommends your vehicle contain the following items this winter. These items should make your life easier and more importantly, much safer.

    Your vehicle should be equipped with a winter emergency survival kit. The following items are recommended:

  • 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.
  • Have a fun and safe holiday season and be careful on the roads.

    Should you or someone you know become involved in a car accident, truck accident or suffer from a personal injury, then call attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

    Teens Texting, Calling And Driving Is A Scary Combination

    A new Pew Research Report reveals that up to 50% of teen drivers admit to texting and talking on their cell phones while driving.

    According to the study by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C, which surveyed 800 teens up to age 17:

    • 75 percent of teens have a cellphone, and more than half of them say they have talked on their cellphone while driving.

    • 40 percent say they have been in a car when the driver used a cellphone “in a way that put themselves or others in danger.”

    • 48 percent of teens say they have been in a car when the driver was texting.

    • More than one-third of teens ages 16 or 17 who text say they have texted while driving.

    FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski already has gone on record with his concerns. “Distracted driving endangers life and property and the current levels of injury and loss are unacceptable,” he sold a U.S. Senate committee last month.

    He cited a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report in 2008 that said driver distraction is the cause of 16 percent of all fatal crashes, which translates to 5,800 people killed, and 21 percent of crashes that result in an injury, which is 515,000 people.

    As I previously wrote, the U.S. Senate is now considering a bill that would completely ban texting while driving. I don’t t think that legislation could come soon enough. The statistics do not lie and apparently teens drivers do not view this as a dangerous activity.

    To read the complete article from the Seattle Times, click here.

    If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident or truck accident, then contact attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

    New Technology Is Key To Reducing Severity Of Car Crashes

    ABC News recently reported that there has been new car technology has decreased the severity of car accidents.  A report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety concluded that new advanced in automobile technology could decrease accidents by as much as one-third.

    The report reveals that new crash avoidance technology is becoming more effective in protecting passengers in a number of different kinds of crashes, including severe frontal crashes, the most common fatal accident. Equipping vehicles with this technology could result in the prevention or reduced severity of as many as 32 percent of the 5.8 million crashes that occur annually.

    Each year, there are nearly 700,000 automobile accidents that result in injury. Approximately 148,000, or 21 percent, could be mitigated by these technologies; of the 33,035 fatal accidents annually, as many as 31 percent could be prevented or have an altered outcome, as revealed by this new study.

    The new crash avoidance technologies range from features that offer the driver a visual or audio alert signaling he or she should take corrective action to avoid an imminent accident, to more active measures that allow the car’s computer to intervene and apply the brakes to prevent a collision.

    The safety systems include forward collision warning, which alerts a driver to brake more quickly when he or she is closing in on a car ahead; blind spot detection to make drivers aware of vehicles in adjacent lanes; headlights that map to the steering wheel so that they adjust as the car turns; and lane departure warning, which alerts the driver if the vehicle is drifting off of the road unintentionally. Such advanced innovations even take into account driver distraction.
    To read the entire article about the increase new automobile technology, click here.

    It will be interesting to see if there continues to be a downward trend in car accidents as the technology continues to improve.

    If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident or truck accident, call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

    Drunk Illinois Driver Causes Crash, Injures 12

    A Morton, Illinois man was arrested after allegedly drinking and driving and causing a car crash that injured 12 other motorists. The  car crash that sent 12 people to area hospitals occurred on Sept. 16

    Jesse A. Horn, 23, of 119 E. Hazelwood St., Morton, was coming from the Morton Pumpkin Festival, where, according to court records, he was doing community service hours for a past DUI conviction.was charged with five felony counts by the Tazewell County State’s Attorney Thursday: unlawful possession of a converted vehicle, a Class 2 felony; three counts of aggravated driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs resulting in an accident causing great bodily harm, a Class 4 felony; and driving on a suspended driver’s license, subsequent felony offense, a Class 4 felony.

    At the hospital after the accident, Horn was issued citations for DUI, reckless driving and driving on a suspended driver’s license. Those tickets were dropped so that the state could charge him with the felony counts, said Umholtz.

    Umholtz said the Pumpkin Festival organizers are in no way to blame for the accident. He said Horn allegedly took the truck, loaned by Mike Murphy Ford in Morton to the festival committee, without permission.

    Witnesses said that Horn was driving eastbound in the westbound lane when he encountered a Toyota truck waiting to turn onto Durant Street. As Horn was trying to get back into the eastbound lane and a Jeep was coming toward him in the westbound lane, the front of Horn’s vehicle hit the Toyota and the back of his vehicle hit the Jeep, which went into a spin and went into a cornfield on the south side of Route 150.

    According to court records, injuries to some victims were serious. One man’s arm was broken in three places and required surgery to install pins to repair it. Another victim suffered rib and vertebrae fractures.

    Click here, to read the complete story.

    This was an unfortunate incident, and I think everyone involved and their families should count their blessings that no one died.

    Should you or someone you know become involved in a car accident or trucking accident, then call attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.