How Much Will A Car Crash Affect Your Insurance Rates In Illinois?

The Chicago Tribune posted an interesting article last month about the effects that car accidents can have on car insurance premiums in Illinois.

According to a study by, if a 45-year-old married woman in Illinois with a perfect driving record and excellent credit has just one car accident where she is at fault, a claim of $2,000 or more will increase her health insurance rates 35 percent.

What happens if this person is involved in a second auto accident in the same year? She’d pay 104 percent more for car insurance than a claim-free driver. If you aren’t covered by any insurance, don’t wait to get covered by any auto insurance.

The insurance quote company hired Quadrant Information Services to conduct the study, which looked at six large carriers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It assumed a $2,000 claim and policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage.

Some states are worse than others according to this study. In Massachusetts, someone who’s at-fault auto accident there increases premiums by 76 percent versus the national average of 41 percent.  In California filing a bodily injury claim in that state will drive up insurance costs 86 percent.

Injuries are by far the most costly of claims for insurance companies because hospitals and treating physicians are much more expensive than auto body shops. The average bodily injury claim cost $15,443 in 2013 versus the average property damage claim of $3,231.

Also, important to point out is if the traffic accident is the other drivers fault, their insurance kicks in and should not affect your rates. If there’s any disputes regarding who’s at fault, make sure to seek legal assistance from an auto accidents attorney.

Regardless, it is important to drive carefully, obviously for your health and the health of others. But, as this study points out, it’s also important to drive safely for your pocketbook.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Illinois Car Accident Deaths Up 9% This Year

According to an article
published today in the Chicago Sun Times, there are a reported 533
traffic deaths in Illinois so far this year, which is up 9% from this time last
year. At this time last year there were only 488 traffic deaths. This includes
motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents.

Illinois Department of
Transportation has stated the cause is partially due to the increased number of
drivers on the road due to the warm weather we have had this Spring and Summer.
driving is playing a role,” Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann
Schneider said. Despite public awareness campaigns, roughly 10 percent of
the state’s traffic fatalities this year are tentatively tied to distracted
driving — or texting while driving and checking e-mail, Schneider said. Officials
also mentioned that there have been an increase in DUIs and wrong way accidents
in and around Chicago.

Although this is
stating the obvious, it is important to be fully aware of your surrounding and
focus on the road when driving this time of year due to the increased amount of
traffic as per a local traffic source. As always, put your cell phones down when behind the wheel.

If you or someone you
love has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago motorcycleaccident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a freeconsultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at 
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Tips For Safer Highway Construction Zones

According to Illinois Tollway statistics, our state averages about 7,000 construction zone accidents in a given year.  To help prevent these accidents and promote safety, the state of Illinois is promoting the following tips to drivers:

Understand where a work zone begins and ends and that reduced speeds are required.

SLOW DOWN whether or not workers are present.

Don’t tailgate.

Expect the unexpected.

Stay alert and minimize distractions.

Understand that penalties for hitting a worker are severe.

Watch for workers.

Watch your speed at tollbooths

Slow down when entering/exiting toll plazas.

Stay in your lane when entering/exiting toll plazas.

Remember, ramp plazas have I-PASS Only lanes.

Never stop in an I-PASS Only lane.

To read the entire press release, click here.

Some may view these ass obvious tactics to avoid construction zone accidents, but due to the number of crashes every year on Illinois highways it is necessary to publish this type of advice.

If you or somoene you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident, Chicago truck accident or has a Chicago workers compensation claim, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.

Illinois Has Record Low Car Accident Fatalities In 2009

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) recently released traffic fatality statistics for 2009, which the lowest amount of deaths in 88 years.

“With the assistance of the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and local law enforcement, Illinois continues to make great strides in the area of public safety,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “This is a proud and historic day for the men and women dedicated to traffic safety who have made traveling in our state safer.”

In 2008, 1,043 fatalities occurred on Illinois roadways, and in 2007, 1,248 highway fatalities were reported. Since 2003, the data compiled represents a historic downward trend in crash-related deaths. During the same timeframe, safety belt usage has increased each year from 76 percent in 2003 to nearly 92 percent in 2009.

“Throughout the year, the Illinois State Police has partnered with the Illinois Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies to implement safety programs that target car crashes on our roadways,” said Director Monken. “There is little doubt the combination of programs designed to address teen driving, impaired driving, and safety belts contributed to successfully reducing Illinois fatalities to their lowest level in 88 years.”

It would be interesting to know if these statistics are reflective of the recent recession. Regardless, it is encouraging to see that Illinois highways were safer in 2009.

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

Transportation Secretary LaHood Lauches FocusDriven

NHTSA Secretary Ray LaHood announced the launching of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization devoted specifically to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The group will be led by Jennifer Smith, who has been an outspoken advocate against distracted driving since her mother was killed by someone talking on his cell phone while driving in 2008.

FocusDriven is a direct outgrowth of the September 2009 national Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC called by Secretary LaHood. Since the two-day meeting that brought together affected families, law enforcement, researchers, public officials and others, family members of distracted driving victims have worked to establish an advocacy organization with support from the Department of Transportation and the National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit organization that uses leadership, research, education and advocacy to prevent injuries and save lives. FocusDriven’s new website,, hosts information on distracted driving, help for victims and family members, and ways to get involved.

Exactly one year ago today, the National Safety Council became the first organization to call for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving. NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher spoke at the Department of Transportation’s national Distracted Driving Summit last fall and has committed NSC’s resources to helping establish FocusDriven.

I have previously written about the changes in traffic laws that have come about in the past year to curb distracted drivers. Texting, in Chicago has not been allowed the past few years, actually became illegal for the state of Illinois on January 1.  The federal government appears to be keeping pace with states and is clearly doing its’ part to decrease distracted driving.

Click here to read the entire press release.

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

Illinois Traffic Deaths Down In 2009

The Chicago Sun Times reported good news for Illinois motorists today. There were 112 fewer traffic deaths in Illinois in 2009 than the year before.

The results mean that not only has IDOT met its Save 100 Campaign goal of cutting down the number of accident-related deaths by 100, but it is also the first time since 1921 that Illinois has recorded fewer than 1,000 traffic fatalities in a year, IDOT said.

IDOT and the Illinois State Police officially announced Operation Save 100 in November, but IDOT has been working with local law enforcement agencies and community advocates all year to coordinate efforts to save lives.

“This is a huge accomplishment,” IDOT Division of Traffic Safety Director Michael Stout said. “It tells me that the programs are working and our partners are working.”

Several reasons were listed  as to why  2009 turned out to be a safer year on Illinois roads. He listed an increase in seat belt usage — 92 percent compliance recently, up from between 70 and 80 percent a few years ago. He also mentioned fewer people driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and the advent of the graduated driver’s license program for teens.

It will be interested to see if this number continues to go down in 2010 with all of the new traffic law intact.

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

New Illinois Traffic Laws Take Effect On January 1

In the past several months I have written about several new traffic laws enacted by Illinois legislators this year. Some of these include a ban on texting while driving, an increase in highway speed limits for trucks and increased fees and penalties for driving on a suspended license.

The Illinois Secretary of State has made a list of all the new laws, which you can find here.

Have a happy and safe New Year and be ready on the roads for these new laws.

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

Are Red Light Cameras Deterring Car Accidents?

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that car accident statistics are showing an increase in vehicle collisions at intersections that contain red light cameras. 

There were 28 Car accidents and truck accidents at Western Avenue and 63rd Street in 2006, the year before the Daley administration installed red-light cameras there in the name of safety. In 2008, the year after cameras went in, accidents at the Southwest Side intersection soared to 42, according to state data.

Car Crash totals for the year before and the year after the cameras arrived shows 18 intersections recorded a significant drop in accidents with cameras. Twenty intersections had a significant increase in car accidents, while nine had relatively little change.

Based on state statistics, nearly 60 percent of intersection with red light cameras did not decrease the amount of car accidents in that area.

The safety benefits of red-light cameras are indisputable when placed at truly dangerous intersections, said Timothy Neuman, chief highway engineer for CH2M Hill, one of the nation’s largest engineering consulting firms. But Neuman acknowledged that drivers have grown skeptical because cameras in many communities seem to be proliferating at marginal locations.

The trick is where you put them,” Neumann explained. “It frustrates traffic engineers like myself if and when it’s misused.”

Indeed state data shows that car accidents have fallen, sometimes dramatically, at some dangerous city intersections after the installation of cameras. In 2006 there were 141 car accidents at South Chicago Avenue and Stony Island Drive, a very complicated South Side intersection. Cameras were installed in mid-2007 and car accidents that year dropped to 123. By 2008 the total fell again to 101.

More typical, though, is the situation at Western and North avenues, where cameras were installed in late 2007. In 2006 the year before the camera went in, the intersection was the scene of 34 accidents. In 2008, the year after installation, there were 40 accidents, including six broadside collisions – considered the most dangerous type of intersection crash. There were no broadside crashes at that intersection in 2006.

To read the complete article, click here.

I think this article and the supporting statistics raise some interesting questions about the effectiveness of red light cameras. I have received numerous phone calls from clients who have been ticketed with red light violations. Unfortunately, these tickets cannot be amended or dismissed as they are not viewed as moving violations. The jury is still out as to whether the cameras are actually decreasing car accidents.

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

Illinois Transportation Officials Launch Operation Save 100

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) announced on November 13 the “Operation Save 100” campaign, which is aimed at having 100 less fatalities on the roadways this year.

Operation Save 100 will run through the end of 2009. During this eight week enforcement campaign, more than 400 law enforcement agencies will be asked to enhance operations and provide weekly activity and car crash reports. The earned media campaign will consist of television and radio interviews, bi-weekly press releases, periodic news conferences and community activities statewide. In addition, IDOT/DTS’s Occupant Protection, Impaired Driving, Motor Carrier and Operation Teen Safe Driving Programs will also be leveraged to drive the Operation Save 100 initiative to fruition.

“An integral part of the ISP’s mission is to promote public safety and improve the quality of life in Illinois as we strive toward the state’s goal of Zero Fatalities on our roadways,” said Director Jonathon Monken. “That vision is shared by the men and women of the Illinois State Police through their commitment to traffic safety initiatives such as Operation Save 100. Through directed patrols, our officers have dedicated themselves to reducing the number of traffic fatalities in Illinois during 2009.

In 2007, 1,248 highway fatalities occurred on Illinois roadways. In 2008, 1,043 fatalities were reported. If less than 1,000, highway fatalities occur across Illinois in 2009, Illinois will join a small, elite group of states who have experienced less than 1,000 highway fatalities. Highway fatalities in Illinois have plummeted from a high of 1,454 in 2003 to lows not seen since 1923. The downward trend has accelerated with highway fatalities down on a provisional basis as of November 10th, from 883 at this time last year to 781.

To read the entire press release, click here.

This is an excellent initiative by IDOT and ISP. Let’s hope they reach their goal.

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

Illinois Increases Speed Limit For Semi Trucks to 65 MPH

Illinois truck drivers are celebrating in the streets from Belleville to Joliet. Well, maybe not, but truckers are definitely happy as a new law will allow them to drive 65 mph on interstate highways outside of St. Louis and Chicago.

Governor Quinn signed the bill, and it goes into effect on January 1, 2010. 

“Its very long time overdue,” says Canadian carrier Jack Wyszotski.

“I appreciate being able to set it on cruise control at 60 miles per hour and being able to cruise on through Illinois,” explains driver Jo Anne Nelson. “Because it’s a long state from north to south, and it takes a long time at the “double nickel.””

Nelson has been a trucker for more than 20 years and has logged more than 2-million accident free miles behind the wheel. She says, this isn’t only about convenience, its about safety…

“More than anything else, you can flow with the traffic, which is better than being held up and holding up traffic. I think its really a reasonable thing. Its more dangerous the other way.”

lllinois is one of the last states in the nation to increase their semi-truck speed limit.  This will hopefully make the interstates safer. We will see.

To read the complete story about this law change, click here.

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