Posted On: December 21, 2010

Chicago Car Accident Risks Rise When There is Snow and Ice on the Road

According to Illinois police, snow, ice and rain are expected to created dangerous driving conditions in the Chicago area during the early part of the week. Meantime, the National Weather Service has said that bouts of heavy snowfall will make it “near impossible” for crews to keep up with the conditions. As of approximately 9:40 p.m. on Monday, police said there had already been about 30 Chicago car crashes on area highways.

Our Cook County car accident lawyers want to remind you that even though motorists have no control over the weather conditions, they are still required to drive safely to minimize the chances of a traffic crash. A driver who was careless or reckless—even if the road and weather conditions are poor—can still be held liable for Chicago personal injury or wrongful death.

Steps to Decrease the Chances of a Chicago Car Accident:
• Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained and ready to drive in winter weather: Clean, working windshield wipers, properly inflated tires, and snow chains or winter tires can help to keep you and others safe.

• Fasten your seat belt and scrape snow and ice from your windows and mirrors before heading out.

• Don’t drive while distracted: Don’t make cell phone calls, text message, or surf the Internet on your PDA while operating your vehicle.

• Drive with your lights on so that other drivers can see you.

• Drive with both hands on the steering wheel and pay attention.

• Avoid stepping on the brakes too hard when you need to slow down or stop your car.

• Don’t speed. If possible, drive more slowly than usual to accommodate the road and weather conditions.

• Avoid using cruise control.

• Don’t drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or medication.

In the event that you are involved in a Chicago car crash this holiday season that you believe was caused by another party’s negligence, contact our Chicago motor vehicle accident law firm today.

Snow, freezing rain making roads treacherous, Chicago Sun-TImes, December 20, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Safe Winter Driving Tips from Bridgestone Tires, Road and Travel Magazine

Safe Winter Driving, Road Trip America

Chicago Weather Center

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Posted On: December 14, 2010

Toddlers Seriously Injured in Fatal Lake County Car Crash Upgraded to Stable Condition

According to officials, the medical conditions of brothers Calvin Jackson Jr., 3, and Clarence Jackson, 2, have been upgraded from serious to stable. The two toddlers were flown to a Park Ridge hospital after the 1995 Jeep Cherokee that they were riding in was involved in a catastrophic Lake County, Illinois car accident with another vehicle on Monday. Police say that the driver of the other vehicle, Adeliata Espinoza, may have run a red light.

The boys were reportedly not in child safety seats at the time of the Lake County, Illinois auto accident and they were thrown from the vehicle. Their dad, Calvin Jackson, Sr., was in the car with the boys and not wearing a seat belt. The 26-year-old East Chicago resident died from massive head injuries.

Also injured in the traffic collision were 18-year-old Houston Neil, who was driving the vehicle that the Jacksons were in, and 17-year-old Laquaysha Johnson. Both of their medical conditions have been updated to stable. Espinoza, 46, and her 2-year-old daughter were treated at the Lake County accident site.

In other recent Illinois car accident news, a Cook County pedestrian accident claimed the life of Chicago resident Sonia Dorado early Sunday evening. The 61-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a Park Ridge hospital later that night.

Police have charged Des Plaines resident Robert Park with leaving the scene of a crash. The 56-year-old motorist also received a citation for driving on a suspended license. Police say that Park may have been suffering from a diabetic reaction at the time. Tests showed that he had no drugs or alcohol in his system.

Traffic Violations Can Cause Illinois Car Accidents
Traffic violations are not just against the law, they can cause serious accidents. Failure to stop at red light or stop sign, yield the right of way, stop at a pedestrian crossing, and other violations can prove fatal for those involved.

Tot brothers recovering from crash in Avon Township, Lake County News-Sun, December 14, 2010

Suspect charged in hit-and-run death of Chicago woman in Niles, PioneerLocal, December 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cyber Drive Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation

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Posted On: December 8, 2010

89-Year-Old Cook County Pedestrian Killed in Palos Park Car Accident Involving Neighbor’s Minivan

89-year-old Mary Infantino is dead from fatal injuries she sustained in a Palos Park pedestrian accident. Infantino was walking to her mailbox on Friday when she was hit by her neighbor’s Dodge Caravan. Police say that the 80-year-old driver of the minivan did not see his elderly neighbor. Infantino was found underneath the vehicle.

Autopsy results confirm that she died from multiple injuries from a vehicle hitting a pedestrian. Police and the Palos Area Reconstruction Team are trying to determine what happened.

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
Infantino’s Palos Park car accident death occurred just a few days before the start of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which takes place this week through December 10. With so many Americans reaching retirement age and living longer lives, there are now more elderly drivers on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, older drivers were involved in 5,569 deadly traffic crashes in 2008—that’s 11% of all the driving deaths that year. That said, in general older drivers do have better safety records than motorists who belong to other age groups. They also tend to be more careful, are more experienced than their younger counterparts, and drive less miles.

However, there continues to be growing concern that elderly seniors can bring with them a higher crash risk should their vision start to fade, reflexes slow down, hearing deteriorate, or health issues force them to take medication.

Elderly pedestrians are also at higher risk than younger adults of getting injured during a traffic crash. Again, the symptoms of aging, in addition to physical ailments that may slow down an elderly senior, can make him/her more susceptible to getting hit by a driver during a Chicago pedestrian accident.

Minivan fatally strikes woman, Southtown Star, December 5, 2010

AAA emphasizes importance of helping keep senior drivers safe and mobile, KXLF, December 8, 2010

Older Driver Safety Week is here, Inside Nova, December 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Elderly Pedestrians, Walking Info

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Posted On: December 3, 2010

A Chicago Car Accident Caused by a Drowsy Driver Can Be Grounds for Cook County Personal Injury Case

If you are like most people, you’ve inevitably gotten in the driver’s seat while feeling exhausted. But did you know that some safety experts consider driving while drowsy to be as dangerous as driving while drunk? If you or someone you love was injured in a Chicago car accident because the other driver feel asleep at the wheel, you may have grounds for a Cook County injury case.

According to a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in six fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver. Meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Foundation reports that drowsy driving causes 71,000 injuries, 1,1500 deaths, and over 100,000 auto accidents annually.

Also, per the study:
• Drivers under the age of 25 are almost twice as likely as drivers in the age 40 to 59 group to be involved in a drowsy driving accident.
• In approximately 57% of drowsy driving accidents, the driver’s vehicle ended up off the road or in other lanes.
• Over 55% of drivers who admitted to falling asleep at the wheel said this happened on a high-speed divided highway.
• Over 59% of drivers who said they’ve fallen asleep while operating a vehicle in the last year said they had only been driving for less than an hour when it happened.
• Over one in four drivers who fell asleep while driving said they did so during the day between the hours of noon and 5pm.

Drowsy driving can lead to problems focusing, driver inattention, short-term memory lapses, lane driving, swerving, tailgating, missed traffic signs and exits, aggressiveness, vision impairment, slowed reaction times, and a delayed ability to process information. Sound familiar? That is because symptoms and effects of drowsiness are similar to those of being drunk.

It takes just a few seconds for a deadly Chicago car accident to happen. This means that shutting one's eyes for just a few seconds of rest could prove fatal. Many drowsy drivers fall asleep and don’t even realize it.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® Highlights Prevalent and Preventable Accidents, National Sleep Foundation

Related Web Resources:
Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving, NHTSA

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

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