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.
The vehicle management and reimbursement platform Motus has come out with some findings that should interest mobile workers in Illinois. Its 2018 Distracted Driving Report has, among other things, linked an increase in car crashes among mobile workers to an increase in smartphone ownership.
When people are injured in an Illinois car crash through no fault of their own, they may need to take legal action to pursue compensation for the damages they have suffered. In many cases, insurance companies will offer an out-of-court settlement. However, a proposed settlement may not address all the losses of the accident victim, and it is necessary to move forward to trial. When a personal injury case goes to the courtroom, it will generally operate along standard guidelines.
According to road safety advocates, hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in taxpayer money could be saved each year in Illinois and around the country if some traditional intersections were replaced by roundabouts. Roundabouts, which are often referred to as traffic circles, are ubiquitous in Europe but quite rare in the United States. However, that may change in the years ahead as the safety benefits of replacing traffic lights and stop signs with roundabouts that slow down rather than stop traffic become more widely understood.
Illinois drivers who want to avoid traffic accidents as much as possible will want to consider some of the following safety tips. Safe driving starts with giving full attention to the road; this means no distracting activities like calling, texting, adjusting the radio, eating or reaching down to pick up fallen items. Children should be securely buckled up so that they, too, do not create distractions.