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IL accident lawyerLearning to drive is a rite of passage for young adults. In Illinois, new drivers must complete a required driver’s education class and accumulate a certain number of hours behind the wheel before they are issued a valid driver’s license, regardless if they are 16 years old or not. During the learning or practice phase, the student motorists carry a learner’s permit and are subject to restrictions such as who can be in the vehicle with them, curfew hours, etc. As with learning how to do any activity that is new, student drivers often make mistakes that can lead to car accidents. Even seasoned drivers can be involved in car accidents due to inclement weather or other reckless motorists, but what are the consequences if someone is injured in an auto collision that involves another driver who is on a learner’s permit?

Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Crash

It is normal to feel shocked or panic when you are in a car accident. You may also be in a significant amount of pain. Try to remain calm so you can think clearly. Taking a few simple steps can increase the chances of a favorable settlement from a potential personal injury lawsuit. These steps include:

  • Pull over to the side of the road.
  • Call 911 if your injuries are severe and require immediate medical attention.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
  • Write down the other motorist’s license plate number.
  • Take pictures with your phone of the damage to your vehicle.
  • Obtain any eyewitness testimonies if applicable.
  • File an official accident report with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

Illinois Driving and Insurance Laws

Under Illinois law, every driver is required to have auto insurance coverage up to a specific amount. This applies to those motorists driving with a learner’s permit as well as those who have been driving for many years. Generally, student drivers are covered through their parents’ auto insurance policy. A driver with a learner’s permit is not required to carry his or her own insurance policy as long as he or she is a minor. This is usually because the student driver is typically accompanied by his or her parent or another adult who is an insured driver.

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IL injury lawyerMany rear-end collisions are minor fender-benders that result in little to no vehicle damage and minor, if any, personal injury. However, some back-end accidents are much more severe. In many cases, the sudden, rapid, back-and-forth jolting of the neck during impact causes whiplash. When that occurs, tendons, bones, and muscles of the neck are put under extreme stress, resulting in multiple symptoms that can have lasting, long-term effects. If you are involved in a rear-end collision, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to understand your options for compensation. Note: If you are seriously hurt and need immediate medical assistance, always call 9-1-1 first.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Whiplash

When a rear-end vehicle collision occurs, whiplash symptoms can be intense and immediate. However, in some cases, the severity of symptoms is not immediately felt. Instead, they intensify over the course of hours or days. Frequently, those drivers or passengers rear-ended in a collision decline medical treatment at the scene, but later begin experiencing the full effects of whiplash.

Common symptoms of whiplash include:

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerIf you haven’t already, you will likely be in a car accident at some point in your life. Studies have shown that the average driver will have at least one vehicle-related accident once every twenty years. This likelihood increases when the driver regularly engages in bad driving practices such as drunk driving, driving while tired, or while talking on the phone. The likelihood of a car accident also increases based on the age of the driver with teenage drivers having a significantly higher probability than adults. If, or when, you get into a car accident there are five tips you should keep in mind.

Assess the Situation

After you have been in an accident, remain aware of your environment. If you feel that you have been injured then stay in your vehicle. Remain inside until emergency services arrive. If the circumstances demand that you leave your car then do so slowly and careful while remaining aware of your surroundings. Move to a safe location and stay there.

Call the Emergency Services

If you can move then call 911 and alert the police and the emergency services that an accident has occurred. Once they’ve arrived be polite and cordial and work with the police in relaying what happened.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL car crash lawyerDriverless cars are the latest buzzword in the tech and car industries. This led the public to believe that soon the road would be filled with 100% autonomous self-driving cars. While many early adopters are excited at this prospect, many drivers are uneasy by this idea. It also creates interesting legal questions regarding who could be at fault for injury if an accident involving a driverless car occurs. Without a doubt, the driverless car could be the future, but it is unlikely that the first models will be entirely autonomous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has organized the types of driverless cars into six stages based on their level of autonomy.

Stage 0: No Automation

At this stage, the car is entirely dependent on the driver and offers no self-driving features. In other words, most, vehicles on the road today fit into this stage.

Stage 1: Driver Assistance

This includes some features like steering and acceleration to assist the driver. However, at this stage of automation, the driver has to remain actively aware of road conditions. The driver must still keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to operate the pedal

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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 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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IL injury lawyerYou have just gotten into a car accident and you are panicking because you do not know what to do next. This has never happened to you before, so you have no prior knowledge to draw from. Who do you call? What do you do first? What do you do if you are hurt? These are questions that will probably arise if you ever find yourself in the precarious situation of a car accident. You may think it is not likely to happen to you, but statistics say otherwise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 6 million traffic accidents reported to police in 2016. Understanding the appropriate steps you should take after an accident can ensure that you are compensated for your damages.

Immediately After the Crash

Stay Safe

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