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.

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.

Fatigue A Huge Factor For Car Accidents

Reuters recently reported that 1.9 million people are involved in car accidents and near misses every year. The National Sleep
Foundation’s 2009 Sleep in America poll shows that 1% or as many as 1.9 million drivers have had a car crash or a near miss due to drowsiness in the past year. Even more surprising, 54% of drivers (105 million) have driven while drowsy at least once in the past year, and 28% (54 million) do so at least once per month.

“People underestimate how tired they are and think that they can stay awake by sheer force of will,” said Thomas Balkin, Ph.D., Chairman of the National Sleep Foundation. “This is a risky misconception.  Would there be 1.9 million fatigue-related crashes or near misses if people were good at assessing their own ability to drive when fatigued?”

“The problem,” says Balkin, “is that although we are pretty good at recognizing when we feel sleepy, we do not recognize the process of actually falling asleep as it is happening.  The process robs us of both self-awareness and awareness of our environment.  All it takes is a moment of reduced awareness to cause a car crash.”

Studies show that being awake for more than 20 hours results in an impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the legal limit in all states. Like alcohol, fatigue slows reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs judgment. But unlike an awake driver impaired by alcohol, a sleeping driver is unable to take any action to avoid a car crash.

As I discussed a few days ago, the federal government could step in and require truck drivers to take an hour break for rest every ten hours. Based on the above statistics, that seems to be appropriate action that could cut down on some of the dangerous driving on our nation’s highways. We will watch this closely.

To read this entire story, click here.

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