Residents of Illinois who own a newer vehicle can see how safe the front seats have become. Many come with crash tensioners, which tighten the seat belt the moment a crash occurs, and force limiters, which unspool webbing from the seat belt to reduce the force of impact and prevent chest injuries. Some front seat belts are even designed to connect with the airbags.
Car accidents generally involve one or more negligent parties. To be found legally negligent in an accident, a motorist must have had and violated a duty of care to the victim. Furthermore, a negligent party must have caused a victim to incur losses that were directly attributable to his or her actions. For instance, if a crash involving an impaired driver occurred on an Illinois highway, that person may have violated the duty of care owed to a victim.
The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has published the results of a study that shows how even light rain can raise the risk of a fatal car crash. Illinois residents should know that this study uses precise data that previous studies of weather-related crashes did not.
One automaker is emphasizing an unusual selling point for its future autonomous technology: the ability to stop drunk drivers. Despite widespread public awareness campaigns and intensified law enforcement activity against driving under the influence, drunk driving continues to pose a major threat on Illinois highways. In 2017 alone, 10,874 people were killed due to drunk drivers, says the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thousands more were injured, often severely.
The National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute conducted a survey to find out just how much of a danger distracted driving can be to first responders. In the first four months of 2019 alone, 16 first responders have been struck and killed by vehicles while helping others. Illinois residents should know that 16 percent of the survey respondents admitted to hitting or almost hitting a first responder or emergency vehicle.
Most Illinois drivers would readily admit that driving over the speed limit is dangerous. However, many may not be as aware of the dangers that come from driving while tired. According to some experts, if a person remains awake for 18 hours, their abilities are impaired comparable to what a person experiences when they drive under the influence of alcohol. When a person has a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal driving limit, they need to sober up before getting behind the wheel. Likewise, when a person is tired, the only cure is getting sleep.
Drowsiness is, for many in Illinois, the natural consequence of losing one hour of sleep for daylight saving time. If these same people choose to drive while drowsy, though, then they are endangering both themselves and others. Everyone needs at least seven hours of sleep a day. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that to miss one to two of those hours in a 24-hour period is to nearly double one's car crash risk.
Drunk driving is behind one-third of all deaths resulting from traffic injuries, so Illinois drivers will want to know what some of the common factors are in these crashes. The groups with the highest risk for a drunk driving crash are drivers under the age of 24, motorcyclists and those with a prior DUI conviction. Those who mix alcohol with drugs or medication increase their risk, too.
Many car parts manufacturers are working to perfect the technology behind external airbags. This safety feature should be of interest to drivers in Illinois, but they should keep in mind that it won't be introduced to the driving public for a while yet. The ZF Group is one car parts manufacturer that is clear about the benefits of external airbags. According to ZF, this technology could reduce injury severity by up to 40 percent.
Driving in the winter in Illinois means sometimes dealing with hazardous road and weather conditions. However, drivers who are prepared can avoid many cold-weather pitfalls. The National Safety Council released a list of recommended items to have in the car during the winter months. Among the recommended items are a shovel, jumper cables, a spare tire/jack/tire iron, tow chains, matches and blankets.