National Safety Council Reports Auto Accidents Leading Killer Of Teens

Last month the National Safety
Council (“NSC”) issued a press release regarding teen safety. The
report stated that car crashes are the leading
cause of death for teens in the U.S., and teens crash at three times the rate
of more experienced drivers. Possible reasons for the spike in these crashes
include:

  • Summer driving tends to be more
    recreational and not as purposeful, such as driving to see friends rather
    than driving to
     school or work
  • Teens could be carrying friends
    more frequently and passengers increase the risk of a fatal crash
    involving a teen driver by at least 44 percent
  • Teens may stay out later at
    night, when crash risk is higher
  • With warmer weather and clearer
    conditions, teens may be tempted to speed
  • More drivers are on the roads.
    Americans drove more than 780 billion miles between June, July and August
    in 2013, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

There’s a lot at stake here and it’s
not just teen lives. Their erratic driving can affect the lives of other
drivers, passengers and pedestrians, regardless of age. I think one step would
be more intensive classes and possibly raising the age to drive to 17. Another
step could be stricter penalties if a teenager is ticketed for texting and
driving, especially if a car accident or injuries from a car crash are a result
of the texting. Parents should also take an active role and drive with their
children to ensure they are doing the right things behind the wheel and
following the rules of the road.

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

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.

 

Police Consider Homicide Charges After Baby Dies In Car Crash

An incredibly sad story came in  from the new wires yesterday. A 27 year old woman, Kim Brown, had her vehicle struck by another vehicle that allegedly ran a red light.  Brown, who died at the scene, was rushed to Stroger Hospital as paramedics attempted to save her unborn child.

Doctors at Stroger Hospital delivered the boy by cesarean section after Wednesday’s car crash. He was listed in “extremely critical” condition and died just before noon today, according to hospital officials.

“The baby suffered injuries (from the car crash) in addition to being premature,” said Stroger Hospital spokesman Marcel Bright. The boy had been 6 or 7 months along.

The driver of the minivan, a 39-year old man from the West Side, was taken to Loretto Hospital after Wednesday’s car crashcar crash and was in police custody this morning, authorities said.

He has so far been cited for running a red light, driving on a revoked license and driving without insurance. Even before the baby died, police had been seeking reckless homicide charges against the man. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office is looking into the case, officials said.

The driver cited in the car crash has been previously convicted 15 times for driving without a license, or on a suspended or revoked license, and has not been properly licensed since September 2002, according to the Illinois secretary of state’s office. His license has also been suspended twice for driving without insurance, once in the case of an auto accident.

The auto accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. when a Ford van heading east on Washington Boulevard was struck by the Chrysler Town and Country minivan that was heading south on Kostner Avenue, running a red light, police said.

The impact pushed the Ford into Brown, a 30-year-old woman and two small girls. The 30-year-old woman and the girls, ages 3 and 1, were in good condition at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

This is a tough story to report about and discuss. There is nothing positive for me to mention. The icing on the cake for the Brown family is that it does not appear that the man driving the minivan has appropriate insurance to compensate the family for an obvious wrongful death lawsuit.  Keep your wits about you folks. There are some crazy and irresponsible drivers out there.

To read the full story, click here.

If you or your family have been involved in a car or trucking accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

Study Shows In Cab Computers Are Distraction To Truck Drivers

The New York Times recently reported on the use of computers by truck drivers while on the road. Truck drivers remain adamant that their use of computers are not a distraction and provide less of a hindrance than the use of cell phones or Blackberrys. 

“We think that’s overkill,” Clayton Boyce, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations, said of a federal bill that would force states to ban texting while driving if they want to keep receiving federal highway money.  Mr. Boyce, who said the industry does not condone texting while driving, said computers used by truckers require less concentration than phones. The trucks “have a screen that has maybe two or four or six lines” of text, he said. “And they’re not reading the screen every second.”  Banning the use of such devices, he added, “won’t improve safety.”

Safety experts have an opposing view and are determined to include computers in trucks in the texting ban. After videotaping truckers behind the wheel, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that those who used on-board computers faced a 10 times greater risk of crashing, nearly crashing or wandering from their lane than truckers who did not use those devices. That figure is lower than the 23 times greater risk when truckers texted, compared with drivers simply focused on the road, according to the same study. However, the Virginia researchers said that truckers tend to use on-board computers more often than they text.

The study found that truckers using on-board computers take their eyes off the road for an average of four seconds, enough time at highway speeds to cover roughly the length of a football field.

Richard J. Hanowski, director of the Center for Truck and Bus Safety at the Virginia institute, said videotape monitoring of 200 truckers driving about three million miles showed many of them using the devices, even bypassing messages on the screen warning them not to use the devices while driving.

“Is this any different than texting?” Mr. Hanowski said. “With either one, the risks are very high.”

But Robert D. Foss, a senior researcher at the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina, said the dispatch computers and texting devices present the same potential for distraction.

“It’s hard to accept the assertion: ‘We’re just different,’ ” he said. “You know full well this is motivated by economic considerations.”

There appears to be a strong lobby by both the trucking industry and safety experts and advocates. The statistics do not lie and based on the Virginia Tech report, computers are just as distracting as texting. It will be interesting to see if the in cab computers will be included in any proposed legislation involving the ban on texting and driving.

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

IIHS Reports That Newer Cars Are Safer Than Those In Years Past

I am sure it has been assumed by most that cars manufactured in the modern era are much safer than those made in the 50s, 60s and 70s. This assumption was proved true by a recent study performed by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety.

Demonstrating this was a crash test conducted on Sept. 9 between a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. In a real-world collision similar to this test, occupants of the new model would fare much better than in the vintage Chevy.

“It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “What this test shows is that automakers don’t build cars like they used to. They build them better.”

Say what you want about the struggling American auto makers, but I think it is fair to say that we are sitting in safer vehicles than the ones our grandparents drove.

Click here to read the complete story and watch the video of the crash test.

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

AAA Launches Heads Up Driving Week from October 5 through October 11

AAA has launched its’ “Heads Up Driving” week set for October 5 through 11.  AAA is calling on all motorists to drive distraction-free for the week of October 5 – 11 as part of its inaugural Heads Up Driving Week: Try it for a week, do it for life.

“The new technologies that help us multitask in our everyday lives and increasingly popular social media sites present a hard-to-resist challenge to the typically safe driver,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “Enacting texting bans for drivers in all 50 states can halt the spread of this dangerous practice among motorists nationwide, and is a key legislative priority for AAA in state capitols.”

The AAA Foundation and AAA call on all drivers to pledge their participation in Heads Up Driving Week spanning Monday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 11. “We are asking everyone to rethink their driving behavior and take the first step toward becoming distraction-free by trying it for a week and then doing it for life,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. By participating, drivers vow to eliminate distractions behind the wheel and sign a pledge committing to distraction-free driving for Heads Up Driving Week and beyond.

This program by AAA has longterm goals through legislation. AAA is now pushing for legislation to ban texting while driving in all 50 by 2013. Currently 18 states and the District of Columbia have a current ban on texting while driving.

AAA will lobby nationwide to pass laws in states that lack them and improve existing laws against texting while driving,” said Darbelnet. “We’ll also continue our work through public education, driver training, and other safety programs to discourage motorists from engaging in the broad range of other distractions that tempt them while behind the wheel.”

I have previously posted about the dangers of texting while driving and how it can lead to a higher rate of car accidents and crashes. It appears that there is a strong lobby nationwide to enact legislation banning texting while driving.  As I have said before, take the time to pull over to the side of the road or a parking lot if you need to check emails or texts on your phone or blackberry.

If you or someone you know is involved in an auto or trucking accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

One Dead And Nine Others Injured In CTA Bus Accident

CBS 2 Chicago announced on their website that a vehicle-bus collision that occurred on the South side of Chicago resulted in one death while nine others were rushed to the hospital. Apparently a van rear-ended and CTA bus at 83rd and Cottage Grove Avenue on Tuesday.

CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said a southbound No. 4 Cottage Grove bus was stopped at the intersection of 83rd Street and Cottage Grove when it was struck from behind by a van about 4:40 p.m.   An EMS Plan 1 was called for the crash at 83rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue about 4:40 p.m., according to Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford. Ten people were initially injured in the crash, according to Fire Media Affairs spokesman Quention Curtis.  Three people were taken in critical condition — two to Stroger Hospital and one to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.  Seven others were initially hospitalized in stable condition. Two people were taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital; three people were taken to Jackson Park Hospital; one person was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers in Evergreen Park and one person was taken to South Shore Hospital, Curtis said. 

It was not known whether any citations were issued in the wreck.

I have written about the CTA in the past. Remember, if you or someone you know has been involved in an accident with the CTA then you are no longer required to file a six month notice with the Chicago Transit Authority. Governor Quinn repealed Section 41 notice rule back in May. Although, the statute of limitations for all incidents against the CTA remains at one (1) year.

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

Granite City Man Given Maximum Sentence For DUI That Lead To Deadly Crash

A Granite City, Illinois man received the maximum prison sentence after being charged with his Sixth DUI that resulted in the deaths of a Granite City couple and their unborn child. Donald Canterbery received 28 years in prison after pleading guilty aggravated drunk driving and related charges.

Canterbery’s blood-alcohol rate was 0.246 percent, which is more than three times the threshold for a drunken-driving charge in Illinois.  According to an accident reconstruction report, police calculated Canterbery’s 2006 Corvette was traveling 151 mph four seconds before the crash and 91 mph when it hit the rear of Arnold-Zimmer’s Hyundai. The wreck happened on Illinois 111 just north of Interstate 55.

Canterbery had five prior arrests for driving under the influence. When given a chance to make a statement in court, he declined. Since the crash, he’s been held in the Madison County Jail on $1 million bail. He will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence, State’s Attorney Bill Mudge said.

“Twenty-eight years in the maximum sentence in this case. I am grateful that this came to a speedy conclusion, saving the families further heartache and grief that comes with a trial,” Mudge said.

Kristi Hosea, a victim-services specialist with Illinois Mothers Against Drunk Driving, attended the hearing Tuesday.

“MADD’s very pleased to see the maximum sentence come out of Madison County and we hope it sends the message that drunk driving will not be tolerated,” Hosea said.

To read the complete story reported by BND.Com, click here.

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