Study Shows War Veterans More Likely To Be Involved In Car Accidents

The Chicago
 reported last month about a study done by USAA insurance
company about the frequency of auto accidents by veterans of the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan.  The study revealed that war veterans are involved in 13%
more car accidents than the rest of the driving population in the 6 months
months after returning home.

USAA found that
soldiers took the driving style that kept them alive on the streets of Baghdad
and Kabul and applied it to the suburban roads at home.  The results were
most dramatic for returning members of the Army and Marines, whose accident
rates rose 23 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. (Rates were up 3 percent
for the Navy and 2 percent for the Air Force).

USAA found
“objects in the road” to be the most cited of the 13 accident causes
it studied.  The insurer also found a direct correlation between the
number of deployments and the rate of traffic accidents — those deployed three or more
times had 36 percent more incidents, those deployed twice had 27 percent more
and those deployed only once had 12 percent more car accidents. A 2009 military
study found that, since 2001, deployments for reservists had averaged from 8 to
14 months in duration.  There was also correlation by age (soldiers under
22 were involved in more car wrecks than those over 29) and by rank (the more
senior a soldier the lower the number of accidents).

USAA stated in their
study that they have shared their study with the government and traffic safety
groups. USAA’s study also stated that they are taking steps to make veterans
aware of the safety risks of driving after returning home from war. USAA did
not actually state what steps they are taking or how they making veterans more
aware of accident risks when they begin driving at home.  I would be
interested in learning what specific actions USAA are taking.

This is another
example of difficult adjustments soldiers must take when returning from war.

If you or someone you love
has been seriously 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

Are Self-Driving Cars The Wave Of The Future?

The Uk-Telegraph reported
today about an interesting development by auto-makers such as General Motors
who have announced that self-driving cars could be on the market within the
next ten years. 
Boules, General Motors’ director of electrical and controls integrated
research, stated that most of the requirements for semi-autonomous driving are
already in place. Those features include Radar, Lidar and camera systems, which
provide modern safety features such as blind-spot recognition, lane-departure
warnings and collision mitigation, could go most of the way to equipping a car
that could drive itself on motorways. Boules stated, “
 If you combine these elements and take each of
them to an extreme, we could have a car that can’t crash and a car that can
drive itself.

to Boules, fully autonomous self-driving cars could be in the market within the
next 10 years as well. Boules mentioned that the benefits of fully
autonomous self-driving cars are in easing congestion, eliminating traffic
lights and conventional road junctions, as cars will guide themselves through
while avoiding traffic, and the reduction of weight as these “crash-proof”
vehicles will not need crash-safety structures.  

I want to know is whether this will it lead to less car accidents. Also, are
people willing to give up the thrill and enjoyment of driving even if it is
safer to let the computers take over.  I think the answer to this is probably not.
Further, GM and other auto makers need to consider the aesthetics of these
vehicles. I think people take more pride in the car they drive and the way it
looks versus the novelty a mini-machine that is run by computer chips. Regardless,
this is an interesting development to follow, especially any research involving
road safety and vehicle accidents

Another issue to consider is what would happen if something in the computer system fails, which causes a traumatic car crash that leads to serious injuries that is of no fault to the driver? Most likely, the auto-makers would be on the hook for the damages based on a product liability claim. Would the auto-makers try to point the finger at the driver in these situation? No doubt this could become an issue and a claim could be tied up in Court while the injured party is left waiting to be compensated for his or her injuries. 

you or someone you love has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicagotruck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant for a
free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at 
style=”font-size: 12pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; “>

Illinois Dept. Of Transportation Lists Chicago 20 Most Dangerous Intersections

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
viewed here.  

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
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