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drunk driver, car accidents, Chicago truck accident attorney, distracted driving, Drunk driving accident, drunk driving accidents, DUI accident, Illinois car accident lawyer, Waukegan motor vehicle accident attorneyJust days ago the South Elgin Police Department announced that they will be increasing the number of officers on the streets patrolling for drunk drivers around the Labor Day holiday. Officer Dan Eichholz told the Chicago Tribune that the department received a special grant to deploy these officers, who have been “tasked with the specific function or detecting and arresting impaired motorists.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded the grant as part of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funds allocated to help keep the roads safer. The increased enforcement effort is part of the Illinois DOT “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaigns.

The National Safety Council keeps statistics on Labor Day crash fatalities, and holidays like Labor Day usually see increased numbers of drunk drivers and arrests for drunk driving. In 2011, the NSC estimated that there would be roughly 400 traffic fatalities over the course of Labor Day Weekend, and nearly 39,000 injuries would occur from motor vehicle collisions. For the previous six years before the report was issued, Labor Day weekend had 14.6 percent more fatalities than other similar non-holiday periods. Similarly to the increased number of enforcement officers in Elgin County, a nationwide increase in patrol officers is seen on holiday weekends like Labor Day and is meant to “focus their attention on impaired drivers.”

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car accidents, CDC, Chicago auto accident lawyer, Chicago car accident attorney, distracted driving, drive distractedly, driver negligence, motor vehicle accidentsAs cell phone use has become ubiquitous while driving, so has distracted driving. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day nearly 1,100 people are injured and more than nine people are killed in motor vehicle accidents that involved a distracted driver.

There are three classifications of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction involves taking one’s eyes physically of the road, such as looking at a phone. Manual refers to taking one’s hands off the wheel, like searching a car for a phone. Finally, cognitive refers to taking one’s mind off the act of driving. And while many states have enacted hands-free driving laws that require the use of Bluetooth or similar technology to talk on the phone while driving, many critics of these laws argue that even such hands-free devices fail to resolve cognitive distractions behind the wheel.

It is not just phone use that constitutes distracted driving. Even using devices specifically meant for vehicles, such as navigation systems, can result in distracted driving. Smartphones, however, are the main culprit for such behavior. Noted by the CDC, 69 percent of U.S. drivers aged 18–64 “reported that they had talked on their cell phone” while operating a car at least once in the month before the survey was conducted. Yet not all smartphone users are prone to such risky behavior.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

 rear-end collision, Chicago car accident attorneys, Chicago rear-end collision, distracted driving, driver's negligence, rear-end collisionsDrunk driving accidents, as well as those involving a gravely injured person in a dramatic way, are some of the most widely publicized types of crashes. However, the most common types of crashes in the U.S. are often benign. According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), a rear-end collision is one of the most common types of accidents, and accounts for approximately 28 percent of all motor vehicle accidents annually.

While many result in severe injuries or fatalities, the NHTSA reports that the vast majority of rear-end collisions are those in which the lead vehicle was not moving fast, and thus resulted in less injury than may otherwise have been caused.

A rear-end collision is common no matter who you are or how long you have been driving. Yet research shows that men are much more likely than women to be involved in a rear-end collision. Young drivers are also more likely to be involved in this type of crash than older, more experienced drivers.

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Chicago car accident attorneys, teen drivers, distracted driving, texting and driving, teen driver crashes, summer driving, teen driving trendsSummertime means school is out for the year, and teenagers take the streets to enjoy this newfound freedom. But it is not all fun and games. A recent article in HealthDay reports that summertime is the “most dangerous time of the year for teenage drivers, and the biggest cause of this is the high percentage of teen drivers” who are distractedly driving behind the wheel. In fact, the article states, “seven of the 10 deadliest days for teen drivers occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day.”

Distracted driving is an issue that impacts every driver on American roads. As cell phones, car televisions, tablets, and other devices continue to become more and more ubiquitous, so do the number of drivers distracted by them. Ten percent of all motor vehicle accidents in 2011 alone involved distracted rivers, and 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who experienced a deadly crash were distracted during the occurrence of the incident, reports HealthDay.

And no one wants to admit that he or she could be distracted behind the wheel while engaged in such mundane activity. Yet drivers who claim that they are not taking their eyes off the road just to send a text are likely mistaken. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) stated to HealthDay that a driver, engaged in sending texts or receiving texts, will take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 44 miles per hour, the DOT concludes, this is like driving the entire length of a football field blind.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Chicago auto accident lawyer, distracted driving, handheld cell phones, hands-free device law, texting while driving, distracted driving cases, distracted driving laws, Illinois distracted driving, hands-free deviceOn January 1 of this year, a new law went into effect in Illinois and banned the use of handheld cell phones while behind the wheel. This ban is not the first such law to be passed in the U.S. to help prevent distracted driving. Several other states and major cities have passed similar ordinances. New York State was the first to do so in 2001, and reports initially showed that drivers followed the new law.

According to a 2004 study reported by NBC News, three years into the ban, New York drivers were talking on their handheld cell phones just as often as they were before the ban. However, it seemed to improve as more states became aware of the issue. A lack of publicity was initially blamed in New York for the continuing problem, but it was solved by a major media push to publicize the new law. Other states, including Illinois, may do well to also take this into consideration.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois drivers can still talk on the phone while driving, provided that they do so using a hands-free device such as Bluetooth, an earpiece, a headset, or the car’s speakerphone. Some researchers balk at these regulations, stating that any type of cell phone use is distracting when a person is driving—whether the driver is actually holding the phone or not.

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