It is Halloween weekend, and cities and towns will be packed with traffic and trick or treaters over the next few days. Chicago is well known to enjoy the Halloween holiday. The Saturday night before halloween is a popular night for the bars and house parties. Sunday is the main trick or treating night but I’m certain there will be kids out and about Saturday as well.
Luckily the National Safety Council (“NSC”) published safety tips for parents and for drivers as we head into the busy weekend. They recommend the following:
- Use flashlights, glow sticks, and reflective tape on costumes so you are visible in the dark.
- Stay on sidewalks, cross at designated intersections, and stay in well-lit areas.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be carried and used frequently.
- Candy collected during trick-or-treating should not be consumed until after handwashing. As always, a parent/guardian should check all candy to make sure it is wrapped and discard any unwrapped candy.
- Wear a cloth mask instead of plastic, latex, or silicone. A costume mask, such as those worn for Halloween, is not a substitute for a face covering.
The one thing that I can add to this list is for people who will be out and about Saturday and night and they know they will be drinking. Please do not drive. Take a rideshare or the CTA to travel to and from your party or the bars. There will be more kids out and about than a normal Saturday. So if you are going out, call that Uber.
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.
September meant back to school and also a lot of companies had their employees returning to the office as well following labor day. Despite persistence of the Delta variant and the pandemic that won’t go away, rush hour traffic is back in Chicago. According to a new study by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (“CMAP”), rush hour traffic has progressively returned and thus driver travel times are slower.
According to CMAP, 111 people died in crashes between March and early September, compared with 92 people during the same months in 2020, The number of people seriously injured in car crashes was up by nearly 20% compared to 2020.
According to the National Safety Council, which studies traffic safety, these increases in traffic accidents is caused by multiple factors. First, they believe the drivers returning to the office. Some who would normally have taken a bus or train might now be choosing to drive, meaning they less are experienced driving their routes. They also believe drivers are having a hard time putting down their phones while in the car. This has been a problem for the last 10 plus years, but now that meetings are mainly taking place via Zoom and FaceTime, a lot of drivers think they can handle these while driving.
The Council believes one solution to these issues is implementing “traffic calming” measures onto city streets, which can help protect cyclists and pedestrians too, as biking and walking are growing in popularity throughout Chicago and the suburbs. That can include lower speed limits, pedestrian islands and crosswalks in roadways and bike lanes, which both provide space for cyclists and narrow streets to encourage lower speeds.
Please remember to buckle up and put your phone down while in the car. I believe your employer, co-workers and clients will understand if you have to wait until you arrive at your office.
As always, please contact The Bryant Law Group at 312-614-1076, should you need a free legal consultation.
Multiple local news outlets reported that the Chicago Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) has pushed forward a vote make Chicago’s -e-scooter program permanent after two sperate pilot programs. The City’s transportation committee approved making the program permanent and the entire city council will vote to enact today.
If approved the new program will authorize the transportation department to issue up to three licenses to scooter-sharing companies, with each company free to deploy 2,000 scooters per day, from 5 a.m. to midnight. The city will receive $1 per day for each scooter plus a 9% lease tax.
The new program will make the scooter more available throughout the city and for a longer period of time. The scooters will not be allowed on the lakefront. The technology will disable the scooter once they leave an authorized zone.
The safety issue, which appears to have been addressed by the transportation committee, is that the scooters will not work on sidewalks. CDOT has apparently been told that the technology will shut down a scooter once a rider tries to use on a sidewalk. I am somewhat dubious of this program due to the already crowded streets and bike lanes. The reporting on the committee meeting did now say whether scooters will be designated to bike lanes. If they are, will this create an issue between scooter riders and bicyclists? Also, will helmets be required for all scooter riders. These are some of the safety issues I believe need to discussed. Regardless, this program is moving forward as the vote is expected to pass today.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago bike accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
I wrote about Illinois traffic death rate for 2020 a few weeks back. It surprisingly showed an increase in traffic fatalities despite the pandemic and periodic shutdowns around the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) release numbers for 2021, which shows that traffic deaths are down overall for the state, but certain counties have actually seen an increase so far this year. There were almost 1,195 traffic related fatalities in Illinois in 2020. To date that number sits at 932.
Shelby County is up two deaths, Christian County is up three, Tazewell and Montgomery counties are both up four, and Effingham County has five more deaths than last year. IDOT says this data includes everyone who was killed inside a car itself, and any pedestrians or cyclists that also may have been killed because of an accident.
You can click here to view IDOT’s data in a snapshot.
It’s unclear why the numbers have jumped in that part of the state. Traffic experts are convinced that the 2020 increase in Illinois was due to more risky driving behavior. Some drivers assumed they could drive at dangerous rates of speed because so few vehicles were out on the road. It’s unclear what is going on in these counties. It could be an anomaly. I think we’ll have to take a look at all of the numbers at the end of the year.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or an Illinois truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) reported some disturbing numbers regarding 2020 traffic deaths. The administration reported an estimated 38,680 traffic fatalities in 2020, which was the highest number since 2007. It also reflects a 7.2 percent as compared to the 36,096 fatalities reported in 2019.
These numbers are so disturbing because there were so many less motorists on the road in 2020 due to the pandemic. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2020 decreased by about 430.2 billion miles, or about a 13.2-percent decrease. If there were fewer drivers on the road, why was it so much more dangerous to drive?
According to the NHTSA report driving patterns and behaviors changed significantly, and that drivers who remained on the roads engaged in more risky behavior, including speeding, failing to wear seat belts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Traffic data indicates that average speeds increased throughout the year, and examples of extreme speeds became more common, while the evidence also shows that fewer people involved in crashes used their seat belts.
My unscientific opinion is that drivers felt more emboldened to partake in the above risky behaviors because no one else was out on the roads. Or, certain drivers may have believed that with fewer drivers around them, there would be less police out looking for speeders. Whatever the reason for this behavior, it is a worrisome trend. All the numbers and statistics I have posted over last several years tended to point the finger at distracted driving as the main cause of increased fatalities. The NHTSA believes 2020 that it was more than distracted driving. It was clearly outright reckless speeding and drinking and driving. Let’s all hope that 2020 was an anomaly and drivers begin using more basic caution like wearing seatbelts, putting their phones down and driving a reasonable speed.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago injury lawyers at the Bryant Law Group for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.