Posted On: July 30, 2009

Certain Foods are Dangerous to Eat While Driving and Can Cause Chicago Car Accidents

It is now common knowledge that talking on a cell phone while driving, texting and driving, and reading while driving are dangerous activities. Yet did you know that eating certain foods can also increase the chances you could become involved in a Chicago car accident?

According to some insurers, here are three groups of food to avoid while driving:

Any HOT liquids: Hot chocolate, hot soup, and hot coffee can become safety risks if you spill any of these items on yourself while driving in traffic.

GOOEY foods: Not only could you find yourself taking at least one hand off the steering wheel if your jelly donut ends up squirting onto your blouse and you scramble to unscrew your water bottle or search for a napkin to blot out the stain before an important meeting, but your attempts at multi-tasking could cause you to swerve out of your lane into the vehicle next to you or onto oncoming traffic.

Greasy foods: Apparently hamburgers, tacos, chili dogs, chicken wings, chocolate cake, and bbq ribs are considered dangerous dishes to eat while driving as well.

Of course, eating while driving is just one type of distracted driving that can lead to Chicago car crashes. And it’s a poor excuse if you ever do find that a cup of hot and sour soup caused you to become involved in a Chicago auto collision.

It can also be very costly—not just in terms of any traffic tickets that could result or an increase in insurance rates if you end up causing an Illinois traffic collision as a result—but if someone gets hurt, you could find yourself the defendant in a Chicago car accident lawsuit.

Eating while driving, dangerous foods, My Fox DC, July 28, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Cyber Drive, Illinois

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Posted On: July 27, 2009

Chicago Drunk Driving Accident Injures Four and Kills One

Four people sustained critical injuries and one person was killed in a Chicago car accident involving a drunk driver in Woodlawn on Sunday night. The person that died was a passenger in the car driven by an alleged drunk driver, who drove into another vehicle and then a light pole, which then landed on a 9-year-old pedestrian. The child is reportedly in stable condition at the University of Chicago Corner Children’s Hospital. Another car accident victim reportedly sustained a broken arm.

In another Chicago car accident on Sunday, two police officers ended up in the hospital after the squad car they were riding in was broadsided by a Honda. The driver, 20, is accused of ignoring a traffic control device at Elston and Albany and t-boning the squad car. Aggravated DUI charges against the motorist may be pending, in addition to driving without insurance and driving without a license charges.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration roadside survey, in 2007 2.2% of drivers had a BAC of .08% or greater—a significant decline compared to the number of drunk drivers (7.5% were legally drunk) that were surveyed in 1973. Despite the fact that there are less drunk drivers on US roads than their used to be, drunk driving is still a cause of way too many Chicago car crashes.

Drunk driving is negligent driving and a drunk driver can be sued for Chicago personal injury if he or she causes serious injury or wrongful death during an Illinois car accident.

The recent NHTSA survey also went on to note that for the first time, 16.3% of the nighttime weekend drivers surveyed tested positive for drugs, with cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine the most commonly drugs detected. Not only can taking drugs impair a driver’s ability to drive safely, but these narcotics can stay in the motorist’s system for weeks—making it hard to know if these drugs were a contributing factor in causing a Chicago car accident days after they were ingested.

One dead, four critically hurt in Woodlawn Crash, Chicago Sun-Times, July 27, 2009

Drunken driver injures two cops, WBBM 780, July 27, 2009

Study finds decline in alcohol use by drivers, AP, July 13, 2009

Related Web Resources:


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Posted On: July 24, 2009

Reading When Driving Can Cause Chicago Car Accidents

Surprisingly, there are people who read while driving a motor vehicle. This is a form of distracted driving that happens more often than you would think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reading while driving triples the odds that a driver might become involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Examples of reading while driving:
• Reading text messages
• Reading emails
• Surfing the Internet on a PDA or cell phone
• Reading a map
• Reading directions
• Reading books or newspapers

Reading while driving can prove dangerous because a driver likely will have to take his or her eyes off the road. The motorist’s cognitive attention is focused on the material being read, which can take a driver’s overall focus off the road and away from driving safely.

Some people may get bored in traffic and decide to pick up a book or surf the Web while their vehicle isn’t moving. It can be challenging to for a motorist to stop reading once the pace of traffic picks up and they may continue reading—especially when traffic is moving at a stop-and-go pace, increasing the chances of a driver becoming involved in a rear-end crash that can turn into a chain reaction, multi-vehicle crash.

Reading, painting your nails, texting, talking on a cell phone, watching a DVD, surfing the Internet may seem like harmless activities until a motorist does them while getting behind the wheel of a car. People have sustained catastrophic, even fatal Chicago car crash injuries because a driver was distracted from multi-tasking while driving.

Careless Driving Tickets: Reading While Driving, National Safety Commission, July 16, 2009

Driver Inattention, National Safety Council

Related Web Resources:

AAA Exchange

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Posted On: July 21, 2009

Chicago Area Car Crashes Injure at Least 11 People and Kills 1 over the Weekend

Two people got hurt on Saturday when a woman crashed her car into a Curves fitness club in Lake Zurich. The Chicago area car accident victims, both club customers, were taken to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

The driver of the car, 65, was treat at the crash site and released. Police are investigating the cause of the Lake Zurich auto collision, which occurred at around 10 am.

They don’t believe that alcohol or drugs are a factor. They think the woman may have stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake as she pulled into a parking spot. She crashed her vehicle through two panes of glass.

Also this weekend, five people sustained injuries in a Chicago car accident on the Southwest side on Sunday. The two-vehicle crash occurred close to the Nagle and Archer Avenues intersection around 4am.

Two of the Chicago car crash victims were thrown from vehicles. One car accident victim severed an arm in the Illinois traffic crash.

Also on Sunday, four people sustained critical injuries and a Berwyn man died in a five-vehicle collision in the Southwest Side Little Village area. 35-year-old Jorge Serrano was pronounced dead at the Chicago car accident site.

The catastrophic Illinois auto crash took place at California Avenue and 31st Street around 3:30am. One of the vehicles fled the Chicago crash site.

Spinal cord injuries, severed limbs, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones are just some of the more serious injuries a car crash victim can sustain in a Chicago car accident.

5-car crash kills Berwyn man in Little Village, Chicago Breaking news, July 19, 2009

Man's arm severed, 3 others critically injured in crash near Midway, Chicago Sun-TImes, July 19, 2009

Two injured when woman drives car into front of Lake Zurich business, Daily Herald, July 18, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents, Justia

Cyber Drive Illinois

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Posted On: July 16, 2009

Preventing Chicago Car Crashes: NSC Study Concludes that Talking on a Hands-Free Cell Phone While Driving is Just as Dangerous as Using a Hand-Held Cell Phone

According to a new study published in the National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research, using a hands-free cell phone while driving is as much a safety risk as it is to talk on a hand-held cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. This is not the first study to support the idea that use of either kind of cell phone is equally dangerous and can lead to driver errors, traffic accidents, affect a motorist’s reaction time, and cause a driver to operate a vehicle at a slower speed—the latter is especially true for motorists using hand-held cell phones. Researchers say that slowing down could be a driver's way to compensate for the cell phone use.

The findings from this study are especially important for motorists in Chicago to know about. While there is no statewide law regarding cell phone use, each Illinois locality is allowed to decide what cell phone law to enact. In Chicago, there is a ban on hand-held cell phones. Yet, per the study, hands-free cell phone users are just as likely as their hand-held cell phone user counterparts to becoming involved in a Chicago car accident.

A study featured last summer in the journal Experimental Psychology explains why it isn’t safe to talk on any kind of cell phone while driving. Dr. Amit Almor, the University of South Carolina psychology researcher that conducted the study, says that planning to talk and actually talking to someone put more demands on the brain than it does to listen to someone speak.

He says experiment subjects were four times more likely to be distracted when they were preparing to speak and when they actually talked. He also noted that study participants were better at performing visual tasks when they were listening to someone else talk. It was also easier for participants to perform assigned visual tasks when they were listening to a voice that was in front of them rather than a voice coming from somewhere else.

Unfortunately, it is no longer unusual for a driver to cause a motor vehicle crash because he or she was talking on a cell phone or text messaging while driving. All of these behaviors are forms of distracted driving and can be grounds for a Chicago car accident lawsuit if someone gets hurts or dies.

If you do need to use a cell phone and drive, AAA recommends that you:

• Ask a passenger riding with you to make the call for you.
• Make the cell phone call brief.
• Get off the cell phone if you get caught in traffic or it starts to rain or snow.

New Study in NSC Journal Shows Hands-Free Phones No Safer Than Hand-Held Phones,, July 9, 2009

Talking Distractions: Why Cell Phones And Driving Don't Mix, Science Daily, June 1, 2008

Related Web Resources:
Cellphone laws, Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, July 2009

Crashes caused by inattentive drivers are nothing new. Cell phones are the latest distraction, Via Magazine, May 2003

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Posted On: July 14, 2009

Chicago Car Accident Law Firm Says Talk to an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer First Before Speaking with Other Party’s Insurance Company

If you were recently injured in an Illinois motor vehicle collision, our Chicago car accident law firm understands that you may be feeling overwhelmed. Your initial reaction to getting rid of your anxiety may be to settle your Chicago, Illinois personal injury case without speaking to a lawyer first.

This is not a good idea. You likely will not know how much time it will take for you to recover from your injuries or how much it will cost you to get the medical and rehabilitation care that you need. There may even be more than one reason why you can hold a negligent party liable for personal injury, and there may be even more than one party that you can hold responsible for your Illinois car accident case.

If you agree to settle your case right away, you give away your right to negotiate the maximum recovery possible once all the accident evidence is discovered. This is why before you even speak to representatives for any other parties, Chicago Car Crash Attorney Steve Malman wants you to call him right away for a free consultation.

By exploring your legal options, you give yourself the chance to receive all of the compensation that you could be owed. Recent Illinois personal injury lawsuits that have been filed by negligent car accident victims include:

• James Jones is suing driver Gregory L Willyerd for over $50,000. Jones says that because Willyerd was driving too fast, did not keep a proper lookout, and was unable to control his vehicle, he struck the car that Jones was a passenger in. Jones says he sustained shoulder and back injuries as a result.

• Andrew Brewster is suing Lea Sayles for personal injury because he says she rear-ended his vehicle at an Illinois intersection. He is seeking over $50,000 for his spinal, neck, and back injuries.

• Tina Bivins is suing Heidi Huff. Bivins is accusing Huff of crashing into her vehicle. Bivins contends that the Illinois car accident happened because Huff did not keep a proper lookout, did not try to avoid a collision, and was driving too fast. Bivins says her body and nervous system were injured.

Illinois Court News, Madison/St Clair Record

What to do after a car accident, MSN

Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents, Justia

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Posted On: July 10, 2009

Prevent Chicago Car Accidents by Exercising Caution in Illinois Highway Construction Zones

According to 2007 statistics, there was a 17% decline in the number of US construction zone deaths from the year before. However, with 835 highway construction zone deaths in ’07—almost 2.3 fatalities a day—that’s 835 deaths too many.

Many people think that construction zone deaths and injuries only affect construction workers and road zone employees. However, 4 out of every 5 fatalities that occur in a highway work zone are motorists involved in Chicago car accidents. This fact is important to realize, considering that more construction projects are expected to set up work zones in the future.

While the parties in charge of the construction zones must set up the proper warnings and signs to indicate that there is a work zone on the road and workers must wear the proper protection and safety gear, motorists are responsible for driving safely through these areas so that more Chicago car accidents don’t happen.

Motorists can be held liable for Chicago personal injury or wrongful death if a vehicle occupant, a pedestrian, another driver, or a construction worker gets hurt because the driver caused an Illinois car accident in a work zone.

Steps Chicago motorists can take to prevent construction zone accidents:
• If you have to merge into another lane, do so as soon as it is possible to merge safely.
• Watch out for construction trucks and make sure that you keep a good following distance behind them.
• Do not talk on the cell phone, text message, or read while in a construction zone. In fact, don't do any of these activities whenever you are driving.
• Obey the posted speed limit.
• Watch out for construction workers.

Of course, Chicago car accidents can also happen in construction work zones because a construction worker was negligent or the parties in charge of overseeing the construction site did not set up the work zone properly. Some causes of Chicago motor vehicle crashes in highway construction zones:

• Debris
• Improperly set up cones
• Inadequate warning signs

Driver Education: Construction Zone Safety, National Safety Commission, July 10, 2009

Construction zone warning: Slow down, pay attention, May 12, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Department of Transportation

Roadway Work Zone Safety, National Safety Council

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Posted On: July 8, 2009

NHTSA Reports 1,043 Illinois Traffic Deaths in 2008

The US Department of Transportation says that 1,043 people died in Illinois traffic accidents last year. Alcohol was a factor in 362 fatalities, while speeding was involved in 385 of the deaths.

Other 2008 Illinois Traffic Safety Facts provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

• 133 Illinois motorcycle rider deaths
• 135 Illinois pedestrian deaths

2008 Traffic deaths in 10 Illinois Counties:
• 274 Cook County fatalities
• 44 Will County deaths
• 40 Kane County fatalities
• 36 Madison County deaths
• 31 St. Clair County fatalities
• 27 La Salle County deaths
• 26 Lake County fatalities
• 24 DuPage County deaths
• 23 Champaign County fatalities
• 20 Dekalb County deaths

The Illinois traffic fatality count was lower last year than it was in 2007 when there were 1,248 deaths. Nationally, there was an overall drop in traffic deaths and injuries between 2008 and 2007. There were 37,261 fatalities last year compared to 41,259 deaths during the year prior. Other substantial declines in the number of traffic fatalities included 25,351 passenger occupant deaths (29,072 fatalities in 2007), 11,883 drunk driving deaths (compared to 13,041 in 2007), 10,764 light truck occupant deaths (12,458 in 2007), 4,378 pedestrian fatalities (4,699 pedestrian deaths in 2007), and 716 pedalcyclist deaths (701 fatalities in 2007). Motorcycle rider fatalities, however, did increase from 158 deaths in 2007 to 188 fatalities in 2008.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that the annual total for the number of traffic deaths reached its lowest level last year since 1961. The trend appears to be continuing this year, with the first quarter of 2009 showing a decrease in traffic deaths compared to the same period in 2008. From January – March 2009, 7,689 people died in US traffic accidents. There were 8,451 fatalities for the first quarter of 2008.

There are many reasons why an Illinois motor vehicle accident might happen. Many catastrophic Chicago car crashes occur because another party was negligent.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: Overall Traffic Fatalities Reach Record Low, NHTSA, July 2, 2009

Related Web Resources:

2008 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment Highlights, NHTSA, June 2009 (PDF)

Illinois Traffic Safety Facts for 2008, NHTSA (PDF)

Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities For the First Quarter (January–March) of 2009, NHTSA, June 2009 (PDF)

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Posted On: July 4, 2009

Driving with a Hangover Can Cause Chicago Car Accidents

Did you know that driving while under the influence of a hangover can cause Chicago car accidents? While traffic conditions, traffic laws, and the way a driver handles a vehicle can all be determining factors of whether or not a person is able to drive safely, his or her state of mind is also important. For example, if you are running late for an important appointment, your anxiety may compel you to speed or try to run a red light without getting caught. If you have a high fever and you are driving, your mind may feel foggy, which could affect your ability to properly see your surroundings and might slow your reaction reflexes.

Hangovers can last as long as up to 24 hours after your Blood Alcohol Content hits 0. It can make you feel dehydrated, which leads to lethargy and lightheadedness. A hangover can cause you to experience glucose reduction, which could lead to exhaustion, decreased concentration, and a poor attention span. Hangovers can also cause sleep deprivation. All of these aftereffects can impede a motorist’s ability to stay alert and fully tuned in to the road conditions and the vehicles and pedestrians around him or her.

A study conducted in England at the Brunei University observed how a hangover can affect one’s driving compared to driving when sober. Among the findings:

• Hungover motorists were four times more likely to drive outside their lanes.
• Hungover drivers had a tendency to drive faster than sober drivers.
• Hungover motorists committed twice the number of traffic violations than their sober counterparts.

Many of us are aware of the dangers associated with drunk driving and are smart enough to avoid driving when under the influence of alcohol. However, just because a motorist may not know that driving with a hangover can lead to Chicago car accidents won't prevent him or her from being held accountable in a civil court for getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle the morning after a night of drinking because someone got hurt or died as a result.

You may be entitled to Chicago personal injury recovery.

The Hazards of Driving with a Hangover, National Safety Council, June 5, 2009

Impaired Driving, CDC

Drowsy & Distracted Driving, NHTSA

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