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Arlington Heights personal injury attorney car accident

Since cell phones became a part of our daily lives, distracted driving car accidents have skyrocketed. The numerous alerts, phone calls, and social media posts that we can scroll through and respond to have led many drivers to prioritize their notifications over their safety on the road. Many drivers may be willing to place themselves at risk to quickly respond to a text or answer a call, but they often forget that momentarily looking away from the road places other motorists at risk of injuries as well. For this reason, Illinois law enforcement has stiffened the penalties tied to distracted driving and one county has set up a special program to tackle this offense.

What Is Considered Distracted Driving?

There are three areas in which one can get distracted while driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. When you take your eyes off the road to grab something in your purse or send a quick text response, you are visually distracted. Manual distractions include anything that takes one or more hands off the steering wheel to perform an action, such as picking up a cup of coffee or your cell phone. Cognitive distractions occur when you are not paying attention to the road or what is going on around you. This may cause you to disregard the speed limit or fail to notice a car stopped right in front of you. Illinois stiffened its distracted driving penalties in 2019 by banning the use of handheld devices and labeling the penalty as a moving violation. These moving violations go on your record and just three in one year can lead to your driver’s license being suspended. This Illinois law prohibits the following:

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Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney pedestrian accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), research shows an unfortunate uptick in the number of pedestrian accident deaths on America’s roadways in recent years. In the year 2018, our nation saw the highest rate of such fatalities since 1990 -- a 3.4 percent jump since 2017, which averaged out to one pedestrian death every 84 minutes. While this data highlights extreme cases, even minor injuries incurred by pedestrians due to negligent drivers can be costly, painful, and life-altering, depending on the nature of the injury.

Which Issues Pose the Biggest Threats?

Considering trends in increasing incidents of pedestrian injury, it is worth taking a look at the conditions and factors that are most often responsible for these accidents. Compiled data from the NHTSA reveals that all of the following factors make a significant difference in a pedestrian’s safety when he or she is en route to a destination:

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Arlington Heights personal injury attorney bus accident

Whether you reside in a bustling urban environment or a suburban, rural neighborhood, public and mass transit offers an array of benefits for daily commuting purposes, including decreasing your chances of car accidents and injuries. This is especially the case for those interested in eco-friendly commute options and for those who desire to avoid the expenses that come with owning and driving their own vehicle. As a more cost-effective and environmentally conscious option, commuting by public transit is reportedly 10 times safer than driving in your own car, according to reports from the National Safety Council’s (NSC) official Safety + Health magazine. All of these factors combined make commuting by bus or train an advantageous option, no matter where you live. However, there are factors that any public transportation passenger should know regarding the safety of riding in these types of vehicles. 

Important Information for Public Transit Passengers 

Despite such positive research statistics, however, bus and public transportation accidents still happen from time to time, which means no one is completely immune to injury on the roadway. While you cannot eliminate every chance of accident or injury, here are some tips to consider any time you step foot on a bus or train:

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Schaumburg personal injury attorney auto accident

We all know the basic dos and don’ts of proper driving etiquette to avoid car accidents, even if a good amount of time has passed since we last took a driver’s education class. Common sense when it comes to rules of the road tell us not to drive while distracted or drowsy, not to drive aggressively, and not to drive while under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. While these standards might seem obvious, there are other common traffic mishaps that we often fall victim to on a regular basis. Such poor driving habits can place us at significant risk for collisions and injuries, which makes the need for practicing defensive driving techniques critical each time we get behind the wheel in Illinois.

Poor Driving Behaviors to Watch for on the Roadway

Every state, including Illinois, has certain traffic laws that must be followed to maintain your driving privileges. However, not everyone obeys these rules, which can include making the following infractions:

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Schaumburg auto accident attorney

With mandatory stay-at-home orders in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, Illinois roads have been emptier over the past few months than they have been in a long time. Fewer commuters going to work and hardly any restaurants open for indoor seating have compelled many people to stay at home and off the roads. Surprisingly, despite the fewer number of cars seen on the streets, motor vehicle fatality rates have actually increased in the past few months. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), Illinois is one of the states that has seen this increased fatality rate, leaving a number of Illinois residents incurring serious to fatal injuries because of a car accident.

Looking at the Numbers

The United States as a whole saw a 14 percent increase in fatality rates per mile driven in March. This is especially surprising since most stay-at-home orders were at their strictest during this time as the coronavirus became identified as a rampant issue throughout the country. Illinois itself had an 11 percent increase in roadway deaths within the first three months of the year. One would think that fewer drivers on the road would result in a lower number of vehicle collisions, but the NSC president notes that many see these open roads as invitations for reckless driving. With fewer cars on the road, safety concerns have been disregarded by many motorists, leading to these increased statistics. Speeding has increased since the start of the pandemic, with the idea that fewer drivers mean typical speed limits are no longer necessary for safety.

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