Cook County Sheriff Dept Teaching Dangers of Texting & Driving

CBS Chicago reported earlier this week that Cook County Sheriff, Tom Dart, and his department are traveling around to area high schools to preach the dangers of texting and driving. As we have learned through different studies the last few years, texting and driving can be equally as dangerous as drinking and driving. The Sheriffs used two important tools to drive this point home. The first was a driving simulator, which gave the students a first person view point of what can happen when texting and driving. They also show a video to students called “The Last Text,” which gives real life accounts of the dangers of texting and driving. You can watch the short film by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

It is amazing to me how times have changed. When I was in high school in the 90s, we had similar programs every year about the dangers of drinking and driving. Life for students who drive has become even more dangerous now that just about every teenager has a cell phone. It is not just kids who like to text and drive, which is why it is important that the Sheriff’s department and others are spreading the word to young people about its’ danger.  Hopefully this strong message at a young age will help them make safe decisions while driving as they get older.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at

Dangerous Weekend For Pedestrians On Lake Shore Drive And Michigan Avenue

The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that there were two (2) separate pedestrians struck by vehicles on Lake Shore Drive late friday night and early Saturday morning. About 1:15 a.m. Saturday, a man was crossing Lake Shore Drive near Monroe Street when he was hit by a Cadillac Seville and killed, officials said. Preliminary reports said the incident was a hit-and-run, but later reports stated a 45-year-old man was taken into custody. Police said the pedestrian accident may be related to driving under the influence, but as of 9 a.m., no charges have been filed against the driver.

On Friday, a woman was left with serious injuries after she was struck by a CTA bus on Michigan Avenue near Wacker Drive, officials said. Shortly before 5 p.m., a CTA bus driver disobeyed a red light and struck the woman on the 200 block of North Michigan Avenue, said Police News Affairs Officer Dan O’Brien.

It is unclear at this point if these vehicle accidents took place directly on cross walks. Though, I think it is fairly obvious that there was negligence by the drivers in both accident.  I have written previously about steps that Mayor Emanuel and the city council are taking to strengthen the local cross walk ordinances. They are asking for stricter enforcement by police and tougher penalties. After an ugly weekend like this, these new laws could not be enacted fast enough.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at

Chicago Traffic Bottleneck Is The Worst In The Country

The Chicago Trubune reported this week about a new traffic survey released by the American Transportation Research Institute and the Federal Highway Administration, which discussed some of the worst traffic bottlenecks around the country. And the winner is… right here in Chicago. The interchange where the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways merge near downtown, ranked as the No. 1 bottleneck for truck traffic in the U.S.  The Kennedy-Edens Expressway junction on the North Side of Chicago came in at No. 8 in the northbound direction and No. 32 for southbound travel.

The American Transportation Research Institute study used GPS and onboard monitoring equipment to track freight trucks along highways. The average speed recorded at the Circle Interchange was 29 mph; 47 mph on I-65 at I-80; 35 mph northbound on the Kennedy-Edens junction and 48 mph southbound, the report said.

No statistics were taken on the number of vehicle accidents or which of these bottlenecks has the most trucking accident and car accidents.  Click here to view the survey results.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago car accident attorney, Aaron Bryant, at 312-588-3384 for a free consultation or go to the firm website at

Some Chicago Area School Districts Using Poor Crash Rated Cars For Drivers Ed

I have previously written about the challenges car makers are faced when designing new vehicles. Often decisions are being made whether to design a vehicle that is crash-worthy or something that is fuel efficient and more environmental friendly.  Apparently manly area school districts have been faced with the same delimma when choosing their cars for driver education classes.  According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, several local school districts are choosing cars that have poor cash ratings because they are cheaper and more fuel efficient.

The study, which was done by the Tribune  along with, revealed that the more affluent your school district the safer your drivers ed vehicle will be. The study also showed that the Illinois does not track the type of cars being used nor are there any safety rules or regulations.  The Tribune filed 60 Freedom of Information Act requests to get the year, make and model of driver’s ed cars. The newspaper then compiled the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test ratings for each car used in 2010 and 2011 and pressed districts for specifics about their cars. Some districts — particularly those that leased their cars from area dealers — did not maintain comprehensive records.  The study also revealed that districts often place cost and fuel efficiency above crash test ratings and vehicle size — factors that experts consider when judging a car’s safety.

The Chicago Public School District said that the oldest vehicle they use is a 1990 Dodge Shadow. Almost half the cars are pre-2000 Plymouth Breezes, Neons and Chevy Cavaliers, which garnered poor highway safety institute ratings. The school district in Will County also uses many older and more fuel efficient vehicles that do not have a very good crash worthiness rating. On the other hand, schools in the North Suburbs use much bigger and newer vehicles such as muscle type sport cars for their drivers ed classes. These vehicles all have a higher crash ratings.

There is no easy answer to this problem. It is well documented that CPS is cash strapped and their driver’s ed vehicle fleet is probably not a top priority to spend money. Is this putting CPS students at a higher risk than students in wealthier districts?  Is it fair for a child that grows up in a poorer neighborhood (through no choice of their own) be subjected to a vehicle that is less safe?  I do not think so. Yet, like I said, there are no easy answers. Hopefully a serious car accident is not the cause for change by the state to address this issue.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at

Allstate Releases List Of The Safest Cities For Drivers

For the seventh year in a row, Allstate Insurance, prepared its “America’s Best Drivers Report,” which ranks the 200 largest cities in the U.S. Fort Collins, Colorado was considered the top city by Allstate as the safest in united states as far as car collision frequency.

The report notes that the total number of car accidents has decreased in recent years, but the number of vehicle fatalities have not gone down in a proportionate level. Allstate attributes this discrepancy with human behavior behind the wheel.  “Human behavior is the biggest cause of car accidents. It is vital for us to educate American drivers about safe driving behaviors they can demonstrate on the road that will help make our roadways safer,” Mike Roche, executive vice president, Allstate’s Claim Organization.

Allstate provided the following tips on their website to help prevent you from being involved in a car crash.

  • Minimize distractions – Engaging in any other activity while driving – talking on your cell phone, text messaging, changing a radio station, putting on makeup – is a distraction.
  • Be aware of road conditions – Ice, snow, fog, rain – all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds.
  • Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you – Maintain at least one car length space between your car and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed. 
  • Steer clear of road rage – Reduce stress on the road by allowing plenty of time for travel, planning your route in advance, and altering your schedule or route to avoid congested roads. Remember not to challenge aggressive drivers and stay as far away from them as possible.
  • Maintenance matters – Ultimately, safety also depends on the maintenance of your car. Ensure that your car brakes, exhaust system, tires, lights, battery and hoses are in good working order.
  • If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident 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