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Illinois and Missouri Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Research: Motorists will to trade privacy for safety

Though southern Illinois is not one of the areas in which autonomous vehicles are being tested, we certainly have our share of connected vehicles here. Connected vehicles are newer models with internet access and installed apps or devices that use the internet to connect for traffic or weather data. Of course, some connected vehicles also send data back to manufacturers about performance, accidents, problems, etc.

According to a new study, Americans who own a connected vehicle – or who are thinking of buying a connected car, van or pick-up – are willing to trade the data collected by their vehicles for enhanced safety. Though the data could well contain personal information or identifying information, a majority of the motorists surveyed are willing to share that data if they get in return a reduced likelihood of accidents and injuries.

Why do people leave the scene of an accident?

Every driver should know that there are some important things you must do after any accident: check for damage; check to make sure other people are okay; exchange contact and insurance information. You might also need to call the police if the accident was serious.

Unfortunately, not all drivers do these things. Some drivers flee the scene of a car crash without stopping. Often, people do this because they know they have done something wrong.

Another “self-driving” vehicle crashes

A southern Illinois radio station is reporting that yet another Tesla car that was being driven in Autopilot mode has crashed. This time, the Tesla slammed into a parked police car, WJBD of Salem says.

This crash goes onto the growing list of motor vehicle accidents involving Teslas on Autopilot.

Looking for ways to make Illinois roads safer

The rise in fatal car crashes is starting to get official attention. Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says he will convene a safety summit later this year to try to find ways to address the growing problem.

Last year, 1,098 people died in Illinois motor vehicle wrecks. Just two years ago, the figure was below 1,000. The numbers are “going in the wrong direction,” Blankenhorn said recently.

Safety tips for pedestrians in Chicago

Ask anyone in our region and they will be happy that spring weather has finally arrived. Temperatures in the mid 50’s in the morning and mid 60’s in the evening hours are ideal conditions for taking a walk, whether it is to venture to a favorite café or to catch a baseball game.

With additional people on the streets comes the possibility of additional pedestrian accidents. In fact, an NPR report from February highlights a disturbing trend. Pedestrian accidents remain at a 25 year high. Even with new safety features that protect drivers and passengers, pedestrians may not see the same benefits.

The impact of bicycle helmet laws on child safety

Nearly half of the states in the nation have passed laws requiring children to wear helmets whenever they ride a bicycle. In 2010, Illinois also considered passing the Child Bicycle Helmet Safety Act. However, this bill was never signed into law. Nonetheless, there is a common consensus that wearing a helmet increases safety by preventing serious head injury in the event of an accident.

A recent study in the journal Health Economics, however, puts this seemingly obvious correlation to the test. In the paper, researchers examine injury statistics and behavioral tendencies among children living in states where bicycle helmet laws are in place compared to a similar group of children living in states with no such laws. The results aren’t what you might expect.

Missouri again considering DUI checkpoint funding cut

A proposal in the Missouri House of Representatives has reignited a fight with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The organization has in the past battled an effort to defund the state’s DUI checkpoints and the group is ready to do it again.

Proponents of the checkpoints say that cops not only catch drunk drivers at the checkpoints, but that the locations also provide disincentives for those who might want to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol.

Trucker indicted in fatal I-55 crash north of Edwardsville

While Interstate 55 is close to Edwardsville, it’s much closer to Hamel a few miles northeast of us. The busy highway roars by the east side of the village.

Last November, an 18-wheeler failed to slow on the interstate for a construction zone. Eight vehicles were involved in the truck accident that took the lives of four women and injured 11 others. Some police officers who responded to the scene of the crashes said it was the worst they had ever seen.

How to drive safely through construction zones

When you see the orange cones and signs on the road, you probably think of how inconvenient your trip will now be. Speeds are slower, lanes are closed and detours may be necessary during road construction. The upside is that hopefully the roads will better afterward.

In the meantime, you need to follow all traffic laws in construction zones. The reason is for more than just avoiding a ticket with double fines or hitting a construction worker. Your own safety is at risk, too, with all the above factors affecting how other motorists are driving and exposing you to large construction machinery.

  • Slow down: No matter how painful it is to lower your speed, slowing down is the safest thing for everyone involved. It is easier to stop quickly and avoid hazards when you are going slowly.
  • Give room: You may want to get through the work zone as quickly as possible, but allow for enough room between you and other drivers, as well as construction workers and equipment. Creating more distance can help prevent an accident.
  • Focus on driving: For the moment, forget about finding your favorite music station, taking a sip of water or answering a phone call with your hands-free device. Put all your attention on the road, signs and flaggers.
  • Merge early: Avoid the temptation to wait until the last minute to merge into a lane in order to get ahead. It is not only courteous but also safer to merge early.
  • Have patience: It is easy to get frustrated under the circumstances or experience road rage with other motorists' bad driving. Responding in anger only makes things worse. Try to be patient and positive. Deep breathing can help you calm your emotions.
  • Use safety features: Wear your seat belt and use your headlights to increase visibility.

Pay attention: April is Distracted Driving Month

You see it across Illinois and Missouri: drivers paying attention to their phones rather than to streets and traffic. Far too often the results of distracted driving are motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

When a distracted driver is behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, the risk of serious injuries and fatalities is even greater. New studies show that despite efforts of law enforcement and lawmakers, distracted driving is getting worse.

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