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IL truck crash lawyerMany drivers do not like driving near semi-trailer trucks and other large trucks. The sheer size of the vehicles make normal passenger vehicles feel minuscule in comparison, so it is understandable that many people would be nervous around them. The weight of a semi-trailer or large truck is much more than an average passenger vehicle as well. Weight affects a vehicle’s behavior in a number of ways, including less maneuverability, greater stopping time and distance, and more impact if something is struck by the truck. These factors all combine to make their involvement in automobile accidents something to be wary of when you are a driver because they can cause serious injury or death. Drivers can follow some simple best practices when around semi-trucks or other large vehicles to lessen the likelihood of involvement in a collision.

Keep Calm

Often when passenger vehicles drive around large trucks, they get frustrated about how long it takes trucks to accelerate and brake. It is important to keep in mind that large vehicles are not going to be able to accelerate or brake as fast as your vehicle when they can weigh 20-30 times what your vehicle does.

Wide Turns Will Happen

When driving around large trucks, keep in mind that they need to take a wider turn than your vehicle. The length of their vehicle does not allow them to make sharp turns, so they need to compensate for that length by swinging around, sometimes in other lanes. Watching out for any large trucks or buses that are swinging wide to turn will prevent an accidental collision.

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IL injury lawyerDaylight savings time is a practice put in place in the United States in 1918 and has long since been a topic of heated discussion and debate. Advocates say having an extra hour of daylight in the evenings during the spring will help people be more active and will keep the roads safer because it is lighter longer. Detractors say it decreases productivity and can make people sick. Regardless of which side you are on, daylight savings time is a part of most people’s lives in the United States. However, there is evidence that daylight savings time is actually hazardous to the general public, due to an increased risk of car accidents following the clock change in the spring.

How Does Daylight Savings Increase Car Accident Risk?

A study in 2014 at the University of Colorado Boulder examined data regarding the prevalence of car accidents in the time period six days immediately following the change in clocks every spring. The results of that study found an increase of 6.3 percent during the six days after we change our clocks. The data was collected over a 10 year period. The reason for this increase in fatalities is because our bodies have a natural clock, known as the circadian rhythm. When the sudden shift in time occurs, it throws our natural clock off temporarily, and our bodies take time to readjust because of the sleep deprivation. This data is also corroborated by a study from Manitoba Public Insurance, an insurance agency in Canada. They found there was a 20% increase in car accidents the day after daylight savings time began compared to the other Mondays of 2014.

How Can This Be Prevented?

If you are worried about your drowsiness affecting your ability to drive a motor vehicle, you should take steps to lessen the likelihood of sleep deprivation. Making sure to go to bed early when you know the clocks will change, staying well-rested, and keeping an eye out for those drivers who were not as prepared as you were will help you stay accident-free after the time change.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_work-related.jpgWorkers’ compensation claims can cover work-related injuries for a wide variety of reasons. Injuries at work will often qualify you to receive compensation and benefits, so it is vital to understand the background on workers’ compensation claims in Illinois. Using these statistics to have a discussion with your personal injury lawyer about the best course of action for your case will be beneficial to all who need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission releases a report on the workers’ compensation claims and the results of those claims filed in Illinois every year. The report filed in 2017 for injuries occurring in 2016 states that there were just over 200,000 instances of workers reporting injuries to their employers in Illinois during 2016, with 45,000 claims filed by the employees to the worker’s compensation commission. Here are some of the key takeaways from that report.

Most Common Reasons for On-The-Job Injuries

The commission’s report states that overexertion and bodily reaction are the most common cause of work-related injuries by a wide margin. The five most common reasons below overexertion are: slip and falls, vehicle collisions, workplace violence, being exposed to dangerous substances or conditions, or contact with a part of the equipment or an object.

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IL injury lawyerBicycles are increasing in popularity for exercise and recreation, as well as an alternative method of transportation. Bicycle riders need to take measures to protect themselves while riding their bike. It is important to remember bicycles do not have the same safety measures built-in to their vehicle as an automobile does and take the proper precautions, such as wearing a helmet, having proper reflective surfaces on the bike and clothing, wearing pads, etc. However, there is a growing problem regarding counterfeit bicycle helmets and the possibility of injury due to the poor quality of those helmets.

Lack of Protection

Counterfeit helmets often do not meet the federal safety standards for the protection a bicycle helmet should provide. During tests to compare fake bicycle helmets with real ones, the counterfeit ones completely break, while the real ones do not. The counterfeit helmets are more likely to not protect at all against injury or death from a bicycle accident, which is not something people want to hear about their bicycle helmet.

How to Determine If the Helmet Is Counterfeit

A counterfeit helmet may look just like a normal helmet at first glance. However, if examined closely, there are some key differences between the two. The first factor to evaluate is the price. If the helmet is cheap, especially if it is a specialized helmet, chances are good it is fake. Additionally, for a safety measure that is going to protect your life, it may not be the greatest idea to buy a cheap helmet anyway. Doing the research on what normal bicycle helmets should cost from reputable dealers and comparing the prices you see will go a long way towards making sure your helmet is not counterfeit.

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IL injury lawyerInjuries are a normal part of life for most people. Simple things such as paper cuts do not require much treatment, but more serious injuries require more serious medical care. Treatment for injuries or ailments is often done in an emergency room or urgent care center. However, many people may not realize there is a difference between the two treatment facilities and they both are intended for different types of problems.

Urgent Care Center

Urgent care centers do not necessarily treat urgent injuries. The urgent care center is mainly used for when you are unable to go see your regular doctor but have something that needs to be examined by a medical professional. Often urgent care is used after a doctor’s office has closed, but the patient can not wait to make an appointment. Typical injuries treated in urgent care include abdominal pain, dehydration, cuts that may need stitches, high fevers, etc. Urgent care centers are typically less expensive than emergency rooms, especially if an ambulance ride is involved in the trip to the emergency room. Additionally, depending on location and type of injury, urgent care is often faster than the emergency room. Many urgent care centers are also located conveniently around shopping malls and commercial areas.

Emergency Room

The emergency room is most commonly used when someone has severe wounds or is at risk of loss of limbs or death. Common reasons for using the emergency room include heart attacks, strokes, extreme shortness of breath, poisoning, suicidal or homicidal feelings, coughing blood, and major amputations or wounds. The emergency room does have at least one major benefit over an urgent care center. Most emergency rooms are staffed and prepared for a wide variety of serious and life-threatening situations.

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IL injury lawyerEveryone has injuries now and then in their lives, but the older generation has a greater likelihood of injuring themselves in a fall. As we grow older, many people are less able to navigate obstacles and hazards as they once did. The human body changes with age and minor inconveniences become more difficult to maneuver. However, below we discuss a few easy tips that can be taken to prevent as many injuries as possible.

Discuss Falls with Your Doctor

A discussion with your doctor about your health and risk in a fall will give you an idea of the type of methods you should be taking to reduce the likelihood of a fall. The methods you take can depend on the types of medication you take, and how they combine with other medicines. Medicine can have side effects such as dizziness, being light-headed, and drowsiness. Knowing the types of side effects you may have will let you know more about your fall risk. Your doctor can also make a recommendation on the necessity of a walking aid such as a cane or walker. Using walking aids is sometimes necessary to decrease your danger of falling and injury.

Household Tips

It will also help you to take steps to reduce falls in your living space. Eliminating any unnecessary clutter on the floor or moving around furniture to make sure you have wide enough spaces to walk will decrease the chances of a fall. One of the more common rooms for a fall in the bathroom due to the wet surfaces. Installing a grab bar in your bathtub or shower and near the toilet will make it easier for you to stand up and decrease the likelihood of a fall. Railings may also be necessary on any stairs in your home. Making sure all areas of the house are properly lit to make sure there are no obstacles in the dark to trip on would also be beneficial.

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IL injury lawyerMany people drive motorcycles because they are fun to drive and are a much different experience than driving a normal car. However, motorcycles do come with their own risks. A motorcycle driver has less between them and the road than a car driver does, and less built-in safety features in their vehicle. Due to the nature of motorcycles, it is important that motorcycle drivers be prepared as much as possible in case of an accident.

One of the easiest ways to increase your safety on a motorcycle is to wear a helmet. Some people may not want to wear helmets because they do not like how they look or they do not think helmets are effective. Nevertheless, the statistics on helmet use do prove that wearing a helmet when driving a motorcycle saves lives.

Breaking Down the Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects data on all types of crashes, including motorcycle fatalities. The NHTSA estimates that drivers wearing motorcycle helmets prevented the deaths of 1,772 motorcyclists in 2015. In addition, there were 740 drivers which could have been saved if they had worn helmets. To put that in perspective, there were 4,976 motorcycle deaths total in 2015.

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IL crash lawyerAutomobiles today have many different styles and variations. When buying a vehicle there are a multitude of factors to consider, such as gas mileage, how old the vehicle is, and whether or not you like the look of the vehicle. One of the most important factors that should be considered when buying a vehicle is how safe it is in the event of a collision. Vehicles have varying degrees of safety depending on a variety of factors, and one of those factors is the type of vehicle. There are three main vehicle types for passenger vehicles: small cars (sedans), pickups, and SUVs. Each of these types has a vastly different body type than the others, which impacts the likelihood of a collision causing an injury or death.

Head-On Crashes and Vehicle Type

Most crash test scores will simulate two vehicles which are the same size hitting each other. However, researchers at the University of Buffalo found that car size also impacts the result of a crash. It would make sense that a larger vehicle is going to do more damage to a smaller vehicle, but the study by the University of Buffalo illuminates how much of a mismatch there is between the two sizes.

When a car crashed head-on with an SUV in this study, the data indicated that the likelihood of death was 7.6 times higher for the car driver. If the car possessed a better crash-test rating than the SUV, the car had a small increase in the likelihood of survival, but they were still 4.5 times more likely to pass away than the person driving the SUV.

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 IL injury lawyerWinter may not be a good time to drive a motorcycle but it may be a time when people are considering buying a motorcycle to drive for the spring and summer. Driving a motorcycle is a different experience than driving. It can also be less safe than a normal automobile. If you are considering buying a motorcycle, there are some important tips to remember to make sure you do not get in an accident and suffer a severe injury or death.

Buy the Correct Bike

The first safety tip is to make sure your motorcycle is the right one for you. Getting educated about the different types of motorcycles and engines will be helpful to make sure you are as safe as possible when you are driving your motorcycle.

Take a Safety Course

Taking a safety course to learn how to drive a motorcycle properly and the ins and outs of what you should be doing will definitely be beneficial to lessen your likelihood of a crash. In addition, taking a safety course may allow you to be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium. Manufacturers also may give you a credit to the cost of buying a new motorcycle if you sign up for a safety course.

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IL injury lawyerWhen children grow up, many of them are excited to receive their driver’s license. To them, it represents a sense of freedom and exploration they have not had before. Finally being able to go where they want when they want is something many children look forward to for quite some time. However, parents may view teens driving a little differently. Parents may worry about their children driving for a variety of reasons, including their safety. Below we discuss some statistics regarding teen drivers and their likelihood to be involved in a crash or incident.

Statistics on Fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a sheet of statistics regarding “young drivers.” They classify “young drivers” as those between the ages of 15 and 20. There were 221.7 million drivers with licenses in the US in 2016. Of those, young drivers were 12.1 million or 5.4%. The good news is that total fatalities in vehicle collisions with young drivers have declined from 2007-2016. During that time period deaths among young drivers went down by 40%, fatalities for passengers with young drivers declined by 50%, and fatalities of occupants of other vehicles involved in a crash with a young driver went down by 27%. However, over the last two years of that data period, 2015 and 2016, there was an increase or no change in those same statistics.

The involvement of young drivers in fatal crashes has also decreased in the 2007-2016 time period, by 36%. Nine percent of fatal crashes involved young drivers, but young drivers are 5.4% of all drivers with licenses, so there is a discrepancy in the rate in which young drivers are being involved in fatal car accidents. The statistics also indicate that male drivers who are young are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes compared to females in the same age group.

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 IL injury lawyerAutomobiles are a great convenience for getting from one place to another, but many people do not pay attention to them as much as they should. There are many important aspects of making sure your vehicle is as safe as possible, and tires are one of them. Improper care of tires can cause severe injury or death, so it is important to check on your tires along with the other components of your vehicle to make sure they are running at peak efficiency and performance.

Inflation Tips

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 19% of people properly inflate their tires. Having tires inflated to the proper pounds per square inch (PSI) can improve fuel economy by as much as 11 cents per gallon. Proper tire inflation helps your tires last much longer.

Checking your tire pressure with a gauge once a month before the car has been driven will let you know what your tire PSI. Some vehicles have different PSI needed for them to be properly inflated, but you can find your vehicles PSI requirements on the driver’s side doorjamb, the rear edge of the driver’s door or on an inward-facing surface next to the driver’s seating position. Make sure to keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle and periodically check the pressure at least once a month.

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IL injury lawyerDriving a vehicle is dangerous for a number of reasons. Other drivers, road conditions, or mechanical failure are just some of the things that can cause a car accident while driving. The injuries or deaths due to many car accidents are preventable, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is constantly working to improve road safety to reduce these injuries and deaths.

The Illinois DOT strategic highway safety plan has five main categories in their mission to make roads as safe as possible, which are explained in depth below.

Engineering

The engineering aspect focuses on working to improve the roadway itself and the safety features on the roadway. Evaluating and updating the infrastructure of roads is key in this step since the road needs to be safe in order for the drivers to be safe. Some examples of engineering working to make roads safe are the implementation of rumble strips in the center and shoulder of more roads, updating and implementing more markings on roads, and adding more roundabouts.

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IL crash lawyerVehicle collisions are often traumatic incidents which can cause injury or death. Car accidents themselves are bad enough, but if your vehicle rolls over it can be even more traumatic. Safety measures have advanced greatly in recent years, but a rollover is still one of the most deadly types of serious crashes.

Even though vehicle rollovers only happen in about 3% of major crashes, they cause around 30% of deaths in passenger vehicles. Injuries or death due to vehicle rollovers can be decreased with more people wearing seat belts, better safety measures, and vehicle designs that focus on rollover avoidance. Until more of those measures are put in place, drivers should focus on learning what causes rollovers and how to prevent them.

Causes

Most rollovers are caused by a vehicle swerving onto something such as a median, curb, or pothole. When a vehicle swerves onto a pothole or something similar, it is called “tripping” because the vehicle is tripping over the obstacle and rolling over. When vehicles “trip” over obstacles, they are thrown off balance and much more likely to roll over.

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Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

IL accident lawyerDriving is an inherently dangerous activity if you consider how fast vehicles are moving, possible road hazards, and how careless other people are when they drive. However, modern automobiles have made great strides in safety features which protect drivers and their passengers. Not all of these safety features can be present on every vehicle on the road, such as motorcycles. Even though motor vehicle safety has improved tremendously over the last 20 years, statistics for morbidity and personal injury in motorcycle accidents has remained about the same or increased because there is only so much motorcycle manufacturers can do to improve the safety of their products.

Injury Cost

Motorcycle collisions are more costly to treat than car collisions. According to a study done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the difference is about $4,569 to treat injuries over a period of two years after collision for motorcycle accidents. The figure for car accidents over that same period was $2,349. The difference in medical costs could be because there are fewer safety features and protection in a motorcycle, so if there is a crash a person is more likely to hit the road or other vehicle themselves instead of the car hitting it.

Injury Rate

The study by CMAJ also found quite a difference in the difference in injury rate between motorcycles and automobiles. The motorcycle injury rate was 2,194 people out of every 100,000 registered owners, but the car owner injury rate was only 718 people out of 100,000 registered owners. The increased injury rate for motorcycles can again be attributed to the fact that there is less protection between their bodies and the object they are hitting. Helmets will help protect your head, which is important, but many motorcyclists do not wear other protective padding on their bodies.

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IL accident lawyerAutonomous vehicles are no longer only present in science fiction. Vehicle manufacturers are constantly looking for new innovations and ways to sell their product, and self-driving vehicles are on their radar. Many manufacturers already boast some basic self-driving mechanics, such as automatic lane change or self-park features, but a true and fully autonomous vehicle is not common on the automobile market yet. The reason for a lack of fully autonomous vehicles is most likely a combination of factors, such as technology limitations, cost considerations, and the general sentiment in America about self-driving cars, fearing that they are more likely to cause injury than a car they can drive themselves.

A Tough Sell

A recent survey by Gallup, a polling and research company, indicated that many Americans do not plan on using a driverless vehicle even if they become common in the next 20 years. Seventy-five percent of the people who were polled indicated they would prefer to own or lease a car they personally drive instead of a driverless vehicle.

The breakdown of demographics showed quite a difference in people’s opinions on driverless cars.  Fifty-three percent of men surveyed said they would use a driverless vehicle at some point, while only 40 percent of women said the same. Age is a factor as well, with 55 percent of adults younger than 50 stating they would use driverless technology either as soon as they could or after waiting a period of time.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerMany people that drive are often guilty of some type of distracted driving, whether that be eating, drinking, or taking a quick peek at your cell phone. Another form of distracted driving is driving while drowsy or sleepy. If you are close to falling asleep, your reaction time will be slowed, you will be less likely to make good decisions while driving, and you will not be as attentive as you should be on the road. The combination of these factors significantly increases the likelihood of an automobile accident and personal injury.

The Statistics

Drowsy driving should be avoided to make sure your risk of collision and injury is lessened, but data shows it does happen occasionally. According to data analyzed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 adult drivers stated they have fallen asleep while driving in the 30 days before they were polled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also estimated that drowsy driving caused 800 fatalities in collisions in 2013. That statistic uses current data on drowsy driving, but the NHTSA believes drowsy driving is responsible for up to 6,000 fatal collisions each year.

Warning Signs and Prevention

Identifying the warning signs of drowsy driving and learning your body well enough to know when you are impaired is helpful when driving at any time, night or day.

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IL injury lawyerAutomobile crashes can happen for many reasons, such as distracted driving, dangerous road conditions, or negligence to follow the rules of the road. When a vehicle collision does happen, the severity of the damage is often based on the quality of the safety measures included in the vehicle. Automobile safety has been a concern for as long as cars have been around, and with the advances in safety in more recent vehicles, cars are safer than ever before.

New vs. Old

A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that drivers are more likely to be injured driving older vehicles. The study researched the outcomes of crashes with drivers driving vehicles from model year 1985-2012 and focused on fatal crashes between 2005-2011.

The data analyzed indicated that 26% of drivers wearing a seatbelt and driving a car less than a year old were killed, compared to 47% of drivers wearing a seatbelt and driving a vehicle over 21 years old. However, there is not as much of an increase among drivers not wearing a seatbelt. The data gathered says 77% of unrestrained collisions had fatalities in vehicles less than a year old compared to 81% in vehicles older than 21 years. The lack of increase is presumably because the safety benefits of newer vehicles do not have the same effect if the driver is not wearing a seatbelt during the collision.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerCruise control is a convenience included on many vehicles today. Cruise control is a way to automatically control the speed of your vehicle when driving. Instead of keeping your foot on the gas pedal and constantly shifting up and down a few miles per hour, you can set cruise control to stay at a more consistent speed. Many drivers use cruise control because it is convenient, allowing them to be more comfortable on long trips and it allows them to make sure they are under the speed limit. However, some drivers do not use cruise control because they worry it is more dangerous than driving normally.

Safety Depends on the Driver

A study published by a French foundation, VINCI Autoroutes Foundation for Responsible Driving, indicated that there are some disadvantages to using cruise control. The disadvantages were related more to the driver’s attentiveness than the mechanics of cruise control. When the drivers in the study had cruise control enabled, they were overall less attentive when driving and had longer reaction times.

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IL injury lawyerWinters in the northern portion of the United States are often full of snowstorms and weather so cold it hurts to be outside. Illinois often exhibits this behavior as well, especially the northern portion of the state. The weather during the winter months can make for hazardous road conditions, and special care needs to be taken when driving in the winter to avoid collisions and injuries. According to the US Department of Transportation, every year over 116,000 people are injured in car crashes where the pavement is snowy, slushy, or icy. Using the tips below can help to prevent winter weather collisions.

Car Safety

One of the main components of safe driving during the winter months is making sure your vehicle is properly prepared for winter. In order to make sure your vehicle is prepared, you can do as many of the following as possible:

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IL accident lawyerAutomobile collisions can be as simple as a fender-bender, or cause fatalities. Thousands of pounds of metal colliding with each other at high speeds can be a recipe for disaster. Usually, car crashes are one vehicle hitting another, but occasionally there are multiple vehicle pile-ups or collisions. When multiple vehicles are involved in the collision, it may be difficult to determine who exactly is at fault and needs to pay damages. Determining the fault in a collision is key to a court case, and is made more difficult in multi-vehicle situations.

Modified Comparative Negligence

Fortunately, Illinois law has a system which helps determine the fault in collisions with multiple vehicles, called modified comparative negligence. With the modified comparative negligence doctrine, jurors can assign a percentage of fault to each party responsible and divvy up the damages based on the percent the plaintiff is responsible. If the plaintiff is not at fault at all, they will get more money, if they are at fault 20%, they will get 20% less than they normally would. This goes all the way up to 50%. If the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault or negligent, they do not receive any damages.

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