Those of us who live in the Midwest have know all too well that the severe winter weather is upon. The Midwest, including the Chicagoland region, have been hit with snow and ice over the last week. It is important to take precautions when driving in severe weather, and luckily the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has provided a list of tips before driving icy or snowy conditions:
1. Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to black ice, an invisible danger during some winter storms.
2. Make sure your gas tank is full.
3. Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
4.Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.
5. Carry a cellphone in case of emergency. Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.
6. Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.
Please be careful while driving this winter, and take a close look at the tips provided by IDOT.
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 .
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced last week that they are going to hold a safety summit on October 30 in Sangamon County. The summit which will focus on distracted driving. This announcement came one week after Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced that August 17 was Traffic Fatality Awareness Day.
Some of the current work championed by IDOT includes displaying crashed cars at rest areas as a physical reminder of the importance of responsible driving, dynamic messages signs across the state that display topical messages to capture public attention, and continued development of new ways to improve safety in work zones.
IDOT has previously focused on the seriousness of distracted driving. Earlier this year they launched a multi-media campaign called “Life or Death Illinois.” The campaign focuses the importance of safe driving and appealing to audiences to stop and consider the seriousness of the issues on the state’s roads. This was the first time IDOT expanded its key safety messages beyond the ongoing problems of impaired driving and unbuckled motorists to include new materials aimed at reducing fatalities and injuries tied to motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, work zones and distracted driving.
I will be interested to find out more information about this traffic safety summit. I’m interested to find out if they will be focusing any time on bicyclist safety. The number of bicycle commuters (especially in Chicago) continues to grow and emphasizing safety for everyone on the road should be an priority. I will also want to know if they will discussing stiffer penalties for those caught and ticketed for driving while using their phones.
Should you or a loved one become seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, who spoke at a National Work Zone Awareness Week event in Chicago last month stated: “Slow down, put the phone down, pay attention to your surroundings… you could save a life and more than likely it will be your own, as 4 out of 5 work zone fatalities are not our workers but drivers traveling through work zones.”
The Chicago Tribune reported recently that construction zone traffic fatalities have risen nationally, but fortunately, decreased in Illinois last year. There were 44 and 46 Illinois construction zone deaths in 2015 and 2016, but only 29 in 2017. Nationally there were 765 in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is touting efforts made with law enforcement to help make construction zones safer as the reason for the improvements. Specifically, IDOT has been working with the Illinois State Police to help improve safety by cracking down on speeders and distracted drivers within construction zones.
Nationally, the excuses for the increase in deaths appear to be the same. Paul Pisano, team leader for road weather and work zone management for the Federal Highway Administration blamed the increase in traffic deaths to there being on the road, distracted driving and the amount of construction work being done.
Hopefully other states, and the federal government, can take a look at Illinois, and the efforts made with law enforcement to help improve safety in construction zones nationwide. Illinois is far from perfect when it comes to traffic safety as there have been increases in pedestrian deaths in recent years. But hopefully the improvements seen in construction zones can be applied to all areas of traffic safety.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in 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
As I wrote recently, traffic accident and traffic fatalities were up in Illinois in 2015 from 2014 and appear to up again in 2016. More specifically, car accidents involving pedestrians are up in Illinois from this time last. The Chicago Tribune took note of these recent trend in article asking the question why? According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”), they are urging both pedestrians and drivers to put their phones down and focus on the the road in front of them.
“We urge pedestrians to use caution and common sense when crossing the street — use crosswalks where available and make sure to pay attention to your surroundings. We urge motorists to be cautious as well — be alert for pedestrians, especially when approaching intersections,” IDOT Secretary Randall Blankenhorn said in a statement.
Some local suburbs, including Naperville, are making an effort ticket distracted drivers. Naperville joined several other suburbs recently along the Route 59 corridor, including Aurora and Plainfield, as part of a joint enforcement campaign that gave out 32 citations for cellphone violations in a single day.
Is this enough? Probably not. It seems every time I’m driving around town I see drivers around me with their noses in their phones. This occurs all the time, and not always when at a stop light. So what is the solution? As I have written many times before, I believe Illinois needs harsher penalties for distracted drivers. Especially when there is a traffic accident, injury and certainly a fatality. This means higher fines and the threat of jail time.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
The weather is warming up and the number of motorists on the road is increasing. This is especially true with the Memorial Day holiday weekend coming up. According to the Chicago Tribune, several area police department and the Illinois State police are instituting their annual traffic enforcement policies “drive sober or get pulled over” and “click it or ticket.”
Specifically, the Arlington Heights police department from May 16 through the 30 will be implementing seat belt enforcement zones, impaired driving saturation patrols, and a Roadside Safety Checkpoint. The checkpoint will take place of Saturday, May 21, 2016 on Arlington Heights Road south of Algonquin Road.
Officers working the campaigns will be attempting to identify and cite motorists who choose to drive without using their safety belts, are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or are committing other traffic-related offenses. The campaigns are funded with federal traffic safety funds, which are administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation – Division of Transportation Safety.
Be careful over the coming holiday weekend. There will be a lot of travellers on the road and unfortunately some of them will be drinking and have their heads in their phone.
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 J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Multiple news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, reported last month that the city began construction on a new stretch of dedicated bicycle lanes along Clybourn Avenue. The lanes will stretch from North Avenue to Division Street and from Division to Orleans. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) hopes the project will be completed by early August.
This is a welcome addition to Chicago bicycle enthusiasts as the number of bike commuters continues to grow. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) estimated recently that 38% of all morning commuters are bicyclists.
I think a tip of the hat needs to go to Mayor Emanuel and his staff as they continue to expand and promote bicycling in Chicago. The mayor vowed when he took office that Chicago would continue to grow and become one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world. Part of this vow has been his commitment to safety. By adding these dedicated bicycle lanes allows a separate and (hopefully) safe space for bicyclists. Drivers must honor that space and stay in their own lane. Although I haven’t seen any statistics on bicycle accidents recently, I believe the city is safer and healthier with all of these new bike lanes. There are now fewer vehicles on the road during rush hour commutes (which is good for everyone) and bicyclists can safely commute to their jobs knowing they have their own dedicated lane. I look forward to see where the mayor continues to expand these lanes.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bike accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation.
The Chicago Tribune recently
published an article regarding Illinois Department of Transportation’s list of
the 20 most dangerous intersections in the Chicago metro area. That list can be
The obvious theme at all of these
intersections is clear: The more traffic at each of these intersection equates
to more traffic accidents. The question remains as to what can be done to
improve the safety at each of these intersections. There doesn’t seem to be a
clear consensus by experts or lawmaker. “There’s a whole host of factors
that need to be studied before any changes can be made,” , Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman
Guy Tridgell . “If you’re adding existing controls or signals
at one intersection, you could see negative impacts elsewhere.”
“The No. 1 thing a motorist can do is obey the speed limit,
traffic signs and signals and just always be aware of the presence and
vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists, everywhere in the city,” said
Amanda Woodall, policy expert with the Active Transportation Alliance.
In 2007, red light cameras were installed to help make the
intersections safer. As I have discussed on this blog in the past, there are
mixed reviews on the red light cameras. The city of Chicago has claimed
that car accidents are down on areas where the cameras have been installed.
Independent studies have said the opposite. Their studies conclude that
intersection with red light cameras are actually more dangerous than before.
At least the data is available and the department of
transportation can study what is making these specific intersections more
dangerous than others (other than the heavy volume of traffic). Hopefully
positive changes can be made.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Chicago caraccident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney,
Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm
website at www.blgchicago.com.
Governor Quinn announced last month through the Illinois Department of Transportation that will be $21.7 million will be granted to schools throughout the state to help make routes to school safer for children. Governor Quinn stated in his press release that the goal of the grant was to “Encourage children to walk and bike to school not only makes school routes safer, but also improves the quality of life for Illinois residents by easing traffic congestion and reducing emissions.”
The 229 funded projects support sidewalk repair and equipment for police and crossing guards. The funding includes $1.5 million to assist communities with safety training, educational materials, and public service announcements encouraging safe walking and biking to school. This will help ensure a consistent statewide program and favorable outcomes from the Safe Routes to Schools projects. Click here
to learn more about the plans to make children’s path to school.
These are encouraging steps being made by the state of Illinois to make roads safer for children and all pedestrians. Vehicle-pedestrian accidents
are a parents worst nightmare and hopefully this will help them sleep better at night and at the same time promote children walking and biking to school.