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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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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 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 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 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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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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Il injury lawyerCar accidents are, unfortunately, not uncommon in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were an estimated 7,277,000 motor vehicle crashes that were reported to the police in 2016. Head injuries are common after car crashes, especially concussions, which can take days or even weeks to manifest. Many people who are suffering from a concussion do not even know that they have one because they do not know what signs to look for.

What Is a Concussion?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect your normal functioning. A concussion occurs when you receive a violent blow to the head that causes your brain to slide back and forth against the walls of your skull. Concussions can be serious and can cause bleeding in or around the brain, which can lead to death if untreated.

Signs of a Concussion

Rarely, a concussion causes you to lose consciousness. Most of the time, concussions can be hard to detect if you do not know what you are looking for. If you have been in a car accident, be sure to look for these signs that you might have a concussion:

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerThe last thing anyone wants to deal with is filing a car accident claim. Car accidents are scary business and can leave you with not only physical injuries and pain but also emotional trauma. Though not all accidents can be prevented, many accidents can be avoided through safe driving practices. Injuries sustained during car accidents can be extensive, which is why you should try to avoid risky situations in the car at all times. Here are four tips to follow to help reduce your chances of a car accident:

  1. Keep Your Attention on the Road

One of the biggest causes of accidents is distracted driving. You can be distracted by almost anything, but you should try to keep your attention on the road at all times. Many times, drivers are distracted by their cell phones, but the distraction is not always digital. Drivers can become distracted by other passengers in the vehicle, things outside of the vehicle or even something as simple as changing the air conditioning in the car.

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IL injury lawyerPicture it: you have just gotten off of work, you are on your way home and you have found yourself in the middle of rush hour. Traffic is moving at a snail’s pace, but as you are moving up a few feet, another driver from the lane over decides to cut you off and jump in front of you. You are probably not too happy about this and depending on the day you have had, this may be the tipping point. The anger you would be feeling is not uncommon--according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers have expressed significant anger or aggression behind the wheel at least once. Road rage is dangerous and can lead to serious car accidents, which is why it is important to understand how to handle road rage if you come across an aggressive driver.

What Is Road Rage?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) defines road rage as violent or aggressive behavior that is a result of a driver’s uncontrolled anger toward another driver. Often, the anger that is felt by those who have road rage is not necessarily toward the other driver, but is a projection of anger about something else, such as a long day at work. Examples of road rage include:

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Illinois injury lawyerWith the increased availability and use of ride-sharing services, the question of who is liable for an accident and injuries sustained during the accident is becoming more common. Pursuing a claim as a result of an automobile accident injury is something to consider carefully as part of ensuring the cost of medical treatment, future care needs and lost wages are covered.

Determining Who Is Liable

While the thought of pursuing a big claim against one of the country’s large ride-sharing companies, the likelihood of doing so is usually quite rare. In most cases one would file a suit with the driver of the vehicle:

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Illinois car accident lawyerAs technological advances are made at increasingly higher rates, manufactures in a number of industries are racing to implement those advances to enhance the user experience of their products. Automobile makers are no exception, as the promise of self-driving cars appearing on roadways not only intrigues the public but has raised questions over matters of fault and liability stemming from injuries suffered in traffic accidents involving self-driving cars.

At This Point … More Questions Than Answers

While the roads are filled with vehicles that include a variety of semi-autonomous features such as parking assistance, blind spot detection and automatic braking, the vehicle that is fully self-driving has yet to hit the streets. As manufacturers work to introduce the self-driving car to the public, questions from drivers, law enforcement agencies and insurance groups relative to accidents and liability swirl.

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