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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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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerOne of the major uses of a bicycle has always been for children to ride. However, now there is an increase in cyclists of all ages. The increase is for a variety of reasons, including physical exercise and environmental consciousness. Each year from 2011-2017 also included an increase in cycling fatalities and injuries. In 2017 there were 783 bicyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes, with many more being injured. Compared to the number of motor vehicle fatalities, that may not seem like many, but most fatalities can be prevented by enacting some basic safety procedures.

Safety Tips

The first tip given to anybody, child or adult, riding a bicycle is to wear a helmet. A helmet protecting your head can prevent concussions or worse from happening when impacting the pavement or an obstacle. Many people do not wear a helmet because they don’t like the way it looks or feel it is unnecessary. If a bicycle crash does happen, people not wearing a helmet will wish they were wearing one.

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IL injury lawyerAccording to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 1,090 traffic fatalities in 2017 in Illinois. Traffic fatalities may occur for multiple different reasons, but one of the most common reasons is traveling over the speed limit. Speeding decreases the time drivers have to react to events around them, and the faster a vehicle is going the harder it is to stop. Drivers who speed are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident which may cause fatal injuries.

Why Do So Many Drivers Speed When Driving?

Each person may have a different reason for driving above the speed limit. Some of the most common reasons are listed below.

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IL injutry lawyerBeing involved in an automobile accident can be a traumatic experience. If you have been involved in a car accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, you should be aware of the statute of limitations for the lawsuit. Different types of lawsuits have different time limits, so it is important to be knowledgeable about the types of lawsuits and how long it is possible to file them. Once the time limit has expired, it is extremely rare for the court to consider the lawsuit unless some mitigating factor can be explained.

The main types of lawsuits that relate to vehicular collisions are the following:

  • Personal injury: A personal injury lawsuit is filed because the victim was injured in some form during the incident. Occasionally, the injury or trauma may not present itself until much later on. This can be something as simple as whiplash, or more serious injuries. In most cases, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit for a vehicular accident is the same as any other personal injury lawsuit, which is two years.
  •  Wrongful death: This type of lawsuit will be filed when a representative of a deceased person believes a person was killed due to the legal fault of the defendant. The representative may be a family member, spouse, or child. The statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits is one year after the death of the deceased person.
  •  Vehicle damage: Vehicle damage is included under Illinois law as personal property damage. If you are seeking damages due to an automobile collision there is a time limit of five years from the date of the collision for the lawsuit to be filed.

Results of Your Lawsuit

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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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IL injury lawyerAny car crash is a complicated event - it can be difficult to determine the cause of any accident and contributing factors to any crash. When it comes to crashes involving trucks, the consequences can be dire. Because of the large size of these vehicles, truck accidents are deadly and survivors can experience more severe injuries than accidents involving other vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted a study in an effort to determine the causes of serious crashes involving large trucks, which are defined as any truck with a gross weight of over 10,000 pounds.

Crash Causation Variables

In the study, three key variables were used to determine what caused truck crashes: critical events, critical reasons, and associated factors.

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IL injury lawyerAccording to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips, and falls were the second leading cause of nonfatal injuries to workers in the U.S. and the third leading cause of fatal injuries to workers in 2016. Slips, trips and falls can cause serious injuries to workers and can result in you having to spend days away from work to heal broken bones or pulled muscles. Depending on the severity of your injuries, slips, trips and falls can render you permanently disabled from a spinal cord injury or even a brain injury.

Fluids or debris on the floor: One of the most common reasons employees slip or fall is because there is something on the floor that is making it slippery. Liquids or dry debris can both make the floor slippery and unsafe. Examples of these hazards can include:

  • Water;
  • Grease;
  • Soap;
  • Ice or snow;
  • Dust, powder or granules; and
  • Freshly mopped or waxed floors.

Walking surface irregularities: Trips, especially, can happen where there is no consistency in walking surfaces when there should be. These irregularities can be both indoors and outdoors. Walking surface irregularities can include:

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IL injury lawyerIt does not matter what industry you work in - there is always a chance that you can injure yourself at work. The first 24 hours after you injure yourself are crucial - your actions can determine how easy it will be to claim your workers’ compensation benefits and how strong of a claim you have. By taking the appropriate actions after a workplace injury, you can help make your worker’s compensation process a little bit easier.

  1. Get Medical Help

The first thing you should do after you are injured at work is seek necessary medical attention, though where you get it from can be important. If your employer has a Preferred Provider Program (PPP), you should choose a doctor or hospital that is a part of that program. You have the choice of two physicians that are within your employer’s PPP, whose costs will be covered. If you choose not to be seen by physicians in your employer’s PPP, you can be seen by one physician of your choice, but further visits must be approved. If your employer does not have a PPP, you have the choice of any two providers.

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IL accident lawyerPedestrian accidents are not uncommon in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, around 193,366 pedestrians were injured in motor vehicle accidents and an estimated 5,987 pedestrians were killed in accidents. Pedestrian safety is especially important because at some point every day, we are all pedestrians. Compared to a vehicle, pedestrians are small and fragile, which is why extreme caution should be taken by drivers when they are around pedestrians, but pedestrians also have a responsibility to be safe and limit the possibility of an accident happening. By following these tips, both drivers and pedestrians can do their part to stay safe.

Driver Tips

  • Always look out for pedestrians. Even if there is not a sidewalk, there may still be pedestrians walking on the side of the road.
  • Be careful when driving at night or in bad weather. Pedestrians can seem to come out of nowhere and that is especially true when hard-to-see conditions are present. Do not speed in these conditions and always follow the rules of the road.
  • You should expect pedestrians to be in a crosswalk and by law, you are required to yield to pedestrians who are using a crosswalk. Give yourself enough space between your vehicle and the pedestrian so other vehicles can see the pedestrian, too. Never pass other vehicles at a crosswalk - they are probably stopped for a reason and you could cause an accident.
  • When you are in school zones or residential neighborhoods, drive slowly and cautiously. Children can jump in front of you in the blink of an eye - always follow the speed limit and go slower if need be.

Pedestrian Tips

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IL work injury lawyerThough the death and injury rate for workers in the United States has decreased since the inception of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) in 1970, workplace injuries and deaths are still reported today, many stemming from inadequate workplace safety precautions. Nearly 5,200 people were killed on the job in 2016 - which is about 14 deaths per day. While not all deaths are preventable, many of them are, which is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed certain standards to keep a safe workplace.

General Duty

In the “General Duty Clause” of the OSH Act, all employers have the responsibility of providing a safe workplace that does not contain any known hazards. This rule is a generalized version of other specific rules that OSHA has for certain industries. There are four groups of OSHA standards, which include:

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Tagged in: work injury

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