Should Rideshare Companies Track Car Accident Statistics

I read an interesting article in the Red Eye this week, that investigated whether companies like Uber, Lyft and Taxi companies track the number of traffic accidents their drivers are involved in. You can read the article here.

The answer to the above question is no. Not only do rideshare and cab companies not track their driver’s car accidents, but neither does the state. All car accidents in Illinois that are reported to law enforcement must include an Illinois Traffic Crash Report. The investigating agency must fill out the report, which includes all of the driver information, whether medical treatment was required, whether traffic citations were issued and, most often, which driver was at fault for the traffic accident. The report also includes a box to check whether a driver was in a commercial vehicle (i.e. a tour bust or commercial van etc..) The report does not include a rideshare or taxi company classification. So, in theory, it is incredible difficult to to track the number of car accidents are caused by rideshare and taxi companies each year.

Should this change? Should the city of Chicago or the state alter the traffic crash reports to include a section regarding rideshares and taxi companies? I think the answer is yes. How do we know how safe these companies and their drivers are? I think it would be beneficial to start tracking these accident and classifying the type of drivers involved. This type of data would help local and state legislators determine if stricter driver qualifications are required for Uber and Lyft drivers. Should background checks and stricter driver testing be required? I don’t know the answer but we could learn a lot more if there were actual statistics taken on the number of car crashes occur every year.

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 J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

National Safety Council Reports Traffic Deaths Up In 2015

The National Safety Council announced last week that traffic fatalities are up 14% so far this year and that injuries related to traffic accidents are up 33%.

The Council has deduced that a robust economy and lower gas prices have put more people on the road, which in turn leads to more car accidents. If the trend continues, traffic deaths this year could exceed 40,000 for the first time since 2007, when there were nearly 44,000 deaths.

The Council did note that in recent years drunk driving fatalities have dropped about 20%, teen car accidents are down and seat belt use is up. The question remains is whether the increase in fatalities is due solely on a booming economy and low gas prices? The Council believed this is the main reason, but also blames the increase in speed limits in many states along with the continued number of distracted drivers. Despite multiple distracted driving campaigns on the state and federal level, more people are taking cell phone calls and texting on their phones while driving.

So we have the most amount of drivers on the road since 2007 plus more people using their cell phones while driving at faster rates. This is a dangerous combination which has led to this increase in traffic deaths. Like I have written numerous times in the past, until states stiffen the penalties for texting and driving, we will not see the numbers of traffic fatalities and serious traffic injuries drop.

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 Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

NHTSA To Focus On Drowsy Driving Prevention

The Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has focused its’ mission in recent years on preventing distracted driving. Multiple campaigns have been introduced to discourage and fight the use of phones while driving. The administration recently announced that, an issue often ignored, is drowsy driving and is an additional issue it would like to combat.

Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently stated: “While not everybody drinks or texts or speeds, lack of sleep is a problem we all face. And falling asleep at the wheel at 70 mph is a recipe for tragedy.”

The NHTSA admits that there is a lack of research and information about lack of sleep and driving. Though Rosekind did report that he estimates that anywhere from 2 percent to 20 percent of annual traffic deaths were caused by driver drowsiness or fatigue.  But more recent research by the National Transportation Safety Board indicates that up to 1.2 million car crashes are related to drowsy driving and claim 4,000 to 7,000 lives a year, he said.

Part of the campaign will include specific research regarding drowsy driving and exactly how many traffic accidents are caused by lack of sleep. They also plan on researching what specific law are in effect that penalize sleepy drivers. There are a few laws in effect in Arkansas and New Jersey.

I look forward to seeing the results of the research and what exactly they propose to prevent drowsy driving. The obvious answer would be enacting laws that punish people who are driving on a lack of sleep that cause a car accident, especially where the other party is injured. This could be similar to what we have seen regarding distracted driving over the past five (5) years and what we have seen in drinking and driving laws over the last thirty (30) years.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, the call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Toyota To Recall 2.8 Million Prius And Corollas

It was just two years
ago that Toyota underwent a major recall of its’ vehicles for apparent issues
with accelerators and brake systems. At the time there reports of multiple caraccidents causing injuries (and at least one fatal accident) that were an alleged
result of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. This week Reuters reported
that there would be closed to 2.8 million Prius and Corolla vehicles

Toyota will recall
around 2.77 million vehicles worldwide, including certain models of the Prius,
due to problems with the steering mechanism and the hybrid system water pump,
its second multi-million car recall in two months.

Toyota is recalling 1.5 million vehicles in
Japan, 670,000 vehicles in the United States and 496,000 vehicles in Europe
over a problem in the steering intermediate extension shafts, which could be
damaged at slow speed, spokesman Joichi Tachikawa said on Wednesday.

I have yet to see any reports of any autoaccidents that were a result of this steering mechanism issue. Hopefully Toyota
has caught this problem before any car crashes can take place.

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

2009 A Record Low For Traffic Fatalities In The U.S.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration  (NHSTA) released some encouraging news this week. Their press release announced that 2009 was a record low traffic fatalities in the U.S. It was the lowest number of fatalities since 1954 and was the 15th year in a row that showed a decline.

The projected fatality data for 2009 places the highway death count at 33,963, a drop of 8.9 percent as compared to the 37,261 deaths reported in 2008. The fatality rate for 2009 declined to the lowest on record, to 1.16 fatalities per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) down from 1.25 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2008.

“This continuing decline in highway deaths is encouraging, but our work is far from over,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland. “We want to see those numbers drop further. We will not stop as long as there are still lives lost on our nation’s highways. We must continue our efforts to ensure seat belts are always used and stay focused on reducing distracted and impaired driving.”

Did the decrease have to do with the recession?  The NHSTA believes it was a combination of factors, including the safety campaigns it instituted the last several years. They attribute the decline in 2009 to a combination of factors that include, high visibility campaigns like Click It or Ticket to increase seat belt use, and Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest which helps with the enforcement of state laws to prevent drunk driving and distracted driving. In addition, the decline is also the result of safer roads, safer vehicles and motorists driving less.

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