Archive for the ‘Auto Accidents’ Category


April 8th, 2014 by admin

This month is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month — and for the first time ever, the federal government is spearheading a big, national, month-long publicity campaign to boost public awareness about the dangers of distractions while driving. This year’s campaign is being wrapped around the catch-phrase “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” and it will run simultaneously with law enforcement campaigns around the country against using a phone while driving.

Millions of dollars ($8.5 million) are being spent this month for this big media campaign which is being touted as supporting the “… the first-ever national distracted driving high-visibility enforcement (HVE) crackdown,” running from April 10 to April 15 this year.

As part of this year’s campaign, several videos are being released to promote greater awareness of the dangers of car crashes and traffic deaths from distractions while driving on U.S. roads. Some are finding these videos surprisingly violent — but the intent behind them isn’t to shock so much as it is to break through to teens and others who may not understand how serious it is to text or talk while driving a car. (One of these videos can be viewed below.)


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has compiled research that includes the following scary facts:

  • Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
  • In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and an estimated additional 421,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • In 2012, there were 540 non-occupants killed in distraction-affected crashes.

To prevent distracted driving, motorists are urged by NHTSA to:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
  • Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.




If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident where distracted driving was a factor, then please accept our sincerest condolences — from our perspective as plaintiffs’ accident lawyers (and staff), we understand how life-altering these events can be not only for the injury victim but also for all those family and friends who suffer, as well, in the aftermath of a tragic accident that could have been so easily prevented.


April 3rd, 2014 by admin


Some are calling the evolving scandal of the General Motors recalls in 2014 for a faulty ignition switch as something that hasn’t been as scary and dangerous as the long-ago Ford Pinto scandal where Ford’s model with it’s gas tank in the rear was one of the most infamous recalls of all time.

And the car recalls just keep happening. Today, Chrysler recalled almost a million (870,000) Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) for a defect in their brakes.  Literally millions of vehicles have been recalled in the past thirty days.

Millions. In One Month’s Time.

Here’s the thing: recalls mean that there are vehicles on the road, or for sale on used car lots and in trade publications and classified ads, that are not safe.

It also means that there may have been accidents and wrecks going back almost a DECADE that may now be determined to be the fault of the vehicle subject to recall. If you or a loved one has been the victim of injury or wrongful death in a car crash or motor vehicle accident involving one of these recalled vehicles from GM (General Motors) or another manufacturer, then you may need to investigate whether or not the car maker is legally liable for the losses that you and your family have suffered.

Expect lots of lawsuits to be filed in response to these recalls. Because at least in GM’s case, the car manufacturer apparently knew of these dangers and didn’t share that information or fix the problem. For YEARS.

List of Vehicle Safety Recalls in the Past 30 Days (NHTSA)

Here is a list of recalls filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the past 30 days:

April 1: 1,340,447 GM vehicles from 2004-2010, including Chevrolet HHR and Saturn Aura models, Recalled for the electric power steering which may suddenly fail.
April 1: 489,936 GM vehicles from 2014-2015, including Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Sierra models, Recalled for the transmission oil cooler line that may not be secured, causing potential leaking that could start a fire.
April 1: 174,046 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles from 2013-2014, Recalled for the right front half shaft which may fracture, causing the vehicle to lose power.
March 31: 119,140 Toyota Avalon vehicles from 2003-2004, Recalled for the potential inadvertent deployment of the front air bags.
March 31: 9,816 Honda Civic LX vehicles from 2014, Recalled for potential tire damage during assembly, resulting in loss of air to the tire.
March 28: 656 Cadillac ELR vehicles from 2014, Recalled for potential loss of directional control due to a failure of the ESC system.
March 28: 209 Porsche 911 GT3 vehicles from 2014, Recalled for potential damage to the engine crankcase, causing oil to leak onto hot components of the engine which may cause a fire.
March 27: 989,701 Nissan vehicles from 2013-2014, including Nissan LEAF and Ifiniti Q50 models, Recalled for passenger seat sensors that may not detect when an adult is seated, causing the air bag to not deploy properly.
March 27: 43,452 Chrysler Dodge Charger vehicles from 2011-2012 equipped with halogen lights, Recalled for the sub-harness on the headlights which may overheat, causing the low beam headlights to go out.
March 27: 657 Newmar recreational vehicles from 2013-2014, including Canyon Star and Essex models, Recalled for microwaves that may start on their own, increasing the risk of a fire.
March 27: 343 Landi Renzo modified Ford vehicles from 2011-2014 made to operate on compressed natural gas (CNG), including E-150 and E-250 models, Recalled for the brackets that support the rear CNG cylinder which may fail, increasing the risk of a fire.
March 27: 195 Chrysler Dodge Ram 5500 trucks from 2014, Recalled for an incorrect Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, which could lead to the truck being overloaded.
March 21: 355 GM vehicles from 2014, including Buick Regal and Chevrolet Impala models, Recalled for gear shifts that may not shift, increasing the risk of rollaway and injury.
March 18: 1,176,407 GM vehicles from 2008-2013, including Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse vehicles, Recalled for faulty side impact air bags and seat belt pretensioners.
March 18: 886,815 Honda Odyssey vehicles from 2005-2010, Recalled for a potential fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire.
March 18: 303,013 GM vans from 2009-2014, including GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express models, Recalled for increased risk of injury to unbelted front seat passengers in the event of a crash below the air bag deployment threshold.
March 18: 63,903 Cadillac XTS vehicles from 2013-2014, Recalled for potential corrosion of the brake booster pump relay connector, increasing the risk of a fire.
March 18: 18,690 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles from 2012-2013, Recalled for a potential hard brake pedal feel, lengthening the distance needed to stop the vehicle.
March 18: 18,092 Fiat 500L vehicles from 2014, Recalled for the transmission gear which may not shift in certain temperatures, increasing the risk of a crash.
March 13: 4,453 BMW motorcycles from 2013, including C 600 Sport and F 800 GS models, Recalled for potential shutdown of the motorcycle while it’s being ridden.
March 10: 1,330 Aisin World transmissions, models A465 and A466 and placed in Isuzu and Chrysler vehicles, Recalled for potential loss of power transfer which may increase the risk of a crash.
March 10: Certain Monroe Trucks modified vehicles from 2005-2009, including Chevrolet C7500 and Ford F-350 models, Recalled for a battery epoxy sealing that may melt and start a fire.
March 7: 6,954 Honda CB500 and CBR500 motorcycles from 2013, Recalled for engine bolts that may have been manufactured incorrectly, which could result in loss of power and engine stalling.
March 7: 130 Freedom Motors wheelchair accessible vehicles from 2008-2010, including converted Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country models, Recalled for the rear axle which may develop cracks and result in axle failure.
March 6: 7,067 Toyota Highlander vehicles from 2014, Recalled for the third row middle seat belt which may not be properly anchored, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash.
February 27: Updated: 1,367,146 Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5 and Solstice, Saturn Ion vehicles from 2003-2007, Recalled for ignition switches that may move out of the run position, turning off the engine or causing the air bags to not deploy in the event of a crash.

Injury Facts Report Published by National Safety Council: Surprising Findings Include Distracted Driving Dangers for Hands-Free Phones

April 1st, 2014 by admin

Each year, the National Safety Council publishes its annual Injury Facts reference guide, formally entitled the “NSC Injury Facts® 2014 Edition: A Complete Reference for Injury and Death Statistics.”

Based in Itasca, Illinois, the National Safety Council has been around for over 100 years and its compilation of injury and accident data is respected and used by industry leaders needing injury research as well as up to date safety information.  If you’re interested in buying the 2014 edition, you can get a copy online here.




NSC Injury Facts 2014 Findings

Meanwhile, the NSC has provided a summary of its 2014 findings – which contain some scary surprises. Among the newly released research findings from the National Safety Council are:


  • Poisonings, including those from unintentional opioid prescription painkiller overdoses, were the leading cause of death in 18 states and Washington, D.C.
  • The increase in fatalities corresponds with the national increase in deaths from drug poisonings, including those involving prescription painkillers.

Distracted Driving

  • Cell phone use is now estimated to be involved in 26 percent of all motor vehicle crashes – up from the previous year
  • An estimated 5 percent of crashes involve texting, while 21 percent involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones
  • In 2012, the number of teen motor vehicle occupant deaths decreased, but motor vehicle crashes remain the No. 1 cause of death for teens


  • Unintentional injuries cost more than $790 billion annually
  • The most costly lost-time workers’ compensation claims are those involving injuries to the head or central nervous system
  • The number of elder adult falls has risen 112 percent since 1999

Car Crashes and Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Motor vehicle deaths in 2012 were at their lowest level in February and at their highest in July
  • The three-day period around New Year’s Day was the holiday period with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired driving deaths

What’s the Most Shocking Statistic in the NSC 2014 Report?

There’s lots of information to digest in the latest National Security Council Injury Facts edition, but for many the most shocking news coming out of the 2014 report is the fact that most drivers using their cellphones in a hands-free way think that this is safer than using their phones while holding them in one hand.

Not true, reports NSC. Over 30 different research studies are cited by NSC to support their finding that while 80% of American drivers think that Hands-Free is Safer, the truth is that hands-free isn’t any less dangerous than talking while holding the phone. It’s the distraction of the conversation on the phone, apparently, not the distraction of holding the device.

Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths Totals Grossly Inaccurate: Drunk Driving As A Cause Of Death Not Properly Documented in Death Certificates

March 27th, 2014 by admin

Drunk driving kills millions of Americans each year and there are all sorts of campaigns to fight against people drinking and then driving on U.S. roads. Personal injuries and wrongful deaths in car crashes, as well as other kinds of motor vehicle accidents (truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents) caused by people driving while intoxicated are preventable tragedies.

Sadly, a recent study has revealed that alcohol is not being accurately reported by doctors on death certificates in the U.S. after fatal traffic accidents as well as in other alcohol-related deaths. Many doctors, the research shows, will state any manner of different causes of death besides alcohol, leaving these death records inaccurate in the individual case and underreporting the reality of alcohol-related deaths in mortality statistics.


Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which reports that around 21% of those killed in a traffic accident in this country are legally over the limit and legally drunk (i.e., with a blood alcohol content that exceeds the statutory maximum), death certificates tallied only 3% of traffic deaths to be alcohol related.

Three percent (3%) versus twenty-one percent (21%) is a big difference.

From the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs:

death certificates captured only a small percentage of MVT deaths involving BAC of .08% or more. Reporting ratio did not improve over time, even though FARS indicated that the prevalence of BAC of at least .08% in MVT deaths increased from 19.9% in 1999 to 24.2% in 2009. State reporting ratios varied widely, from 0.02 (Nevada and New Jersey) to 0.81 (Delaware).

Conclusions: The comparison of MCoD with FARS revealed a large discrepancy in reporting alcohol involvement in MVT deaths and considerable state variation in the magnitude of underreporting. We suspect similar underreporting and state variations in alcohol involvement in other types of injury deaths. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 75, 299–312, 2014)

From the report:

Despite the growing recognition of alcohol use as an important risk factor for public health, the reporting of alcohol involvement on death certificates does not seem to have improved much over the years. Medical examiners, coroners, and physicians serving as death certifiers are the key to accurate and complete cause-of-death information. (p.310)

Wrongful Death Claims Often Based Upon Fatal Traffic Accidents: Death Certificates Cannot Be Trusted

In both Indiana and Illinois, there are statutes which provide special legal causes of action to those who have lost a loved one due to the wrongdoing of another. These “wrongful death” cases are all too often based upon drunk driving accidents where someone driving while under the influence has caused a fatal traffic accident.

Death certificates are a part of the proof that is used in these kinds of wrongful death cases. They may also be important in serious personal injury cases where the injury victim is seeking damages after surviving a serious crash.

It is vital to recognize that Death Certificates cannot be trusted on their face for their accuracy as this important new research study reveals. In other words, even though the Death Certificate may not point to alcohol, that document cannot stand inviolate as proof that the accident was not caused by someone driving drunk and causing the wrongful death of another (or their serious personal injury).  If you or a loved one suspect that alcohol may have been involved in the crash, then it may be necessary to investigate further and not rely upon the Death Certificate as an exclusion of drunk driving as the reason for the accident. 

GM Recall: GM Ignition Switch Dangers Grow – Moves to Stop People from Driving these Cars, Get Victims’ Claims Recognized

March 25th, 2014 by admin

Details about the General Motors Recall (see our blog post here for more information) are still being discovered as an expose this week reveals that these GM vehicles are still being sold to unsuspecting car customers all across the United States. That’s right: used car dealerships like CarMax are selling these vehicles to anyone who wants to buy them.

These GM Models Are Still Being Sold

See, “Buyer Beware: Recalled Cars Still on the Sales Floor,” where reporter Jeff Flock details investigatory web searches where “literally thousands” of these GM models are available for purchase despite the recall.

Here’s the bigger news: it’s not illegal for these used car dealerships to do this. Used car dealerships operate under different regulations than new car dealerships. When you buy a car that is “pre-owned,” even if it is “certified,” you are undertaking risk that you would not be doing if you bought the car brand-new from the manufacturer.

When you consider this scary information — that these cars may be on the roads you drive everyday and they haven’t been fixed for the recalled defect — along with the revelation that General Motors is alleged to have known about these serious dangers to the public, as well as GM drivers, from faulty ignition switches since 2005, the seriousness of the GM Recall becomes even more serious.

Only now has GM voluntarily recalled these products, letting everyone know that these ignition switches can cause traffic accidents and even kill people in crashes caused by the GM ignitions going bad.

Suffice to say that General Motors has a lot of explaining to do — and much of that explanation is going to be to juries in courtrooms across the country.

Lawsuits Being Filed Against General Motors for Injuries in GM Car Accidents

Lawsuits are being filed by injury victims of car accidents involving these GM model cars all over the nation. Yesterday in Texas, two GM customers filed a emergency motion in federal court asking a federal judge to order all owners of these GM models to STOP DRIVING THEM IMMEDIATELY because of the dangers that exist.

Additionally, a lawsuit has been filed in California against General Motors, alleging that the car company was also aware that this ignition switch problem was even more risky because the ignition switch in these models is placed in a spot where it is easy to bump, but GM hasn’t acknowledged that problem. If this is true, the California suit argues, then the current recall isn’t going to fix the GM ignition switch danger because the current recall fix doesn’t address blocking the switch from being hit or bumped by the driver of these cars and inadvertently turning on the car engine.

GM Bankruptcy in 2009 Bars Pre-2009 Claims: Push for GM to Recognize These Injury Crash Claims

However, remember GM going into bankruptcy a few years back? Well, part of that bankruptcy deal was a legal bar to any personal injury or wrongful death claims for crashes and accidents that happened before 2009.

Which means that unless General Motors waives that bar (which it can), then someone who discovers now that the wreck in which he (or she) was seriously injured or that killed a loved one was caused by a GM ignition switch malfunction cannot file a lawsuit for damages because they will have that claim denied by the GM Bankruptcy Bar.

Will GM waive that 2009 bar to claims? It hasn’t yet. However, many are pushing for GM to do deal with the pre-2009 claim issue, including the Center for Auto Safety, which is suggesting that GM create a victims’ fund in the amount of $1 billion to address these claims.

Do You Own or Operate One of these GM Model Cars?

Once again, here is a list of the GM Cars Under Recall:

  • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit (sold in Canada only)
  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007 Saturn Sky

If you or a loved one own or operate one of these General Motors vehicles, then please know they are under recall and are considered dangerous to drive.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident where one of the General Motors vehicles was involved in the past few years, then you may want to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn whether or not you have a personal injury claim or wrongful death case against General Motors.

GM Recalls Millions of GM Cars and SUVs: Congress Is Investigating while Justice Department Begins Criminal Investigation – Is Your GM Car Dangerous?

March 18th, 2014 by admin

More recalls from General Motors (GM) yesterday, as GM issued THREE more voluntary recalls this week after last month’s major recall of 1,600,000 GM vehicles in model years 2003 to 2007 for major problems with their ignition switches.

February 2014:  GM Announces Recall For Ignition Switch That Turns Car Off

In February 2014, General Motors announced that owners of 2003 – 2007 model year cars needed to come into their local dealerships to have ignition switches replaced because GM had learned that there were flaws in their original ignitions which can cause the car to shut off the engine while turning off the air bags as well. The specific GM cars involved are:

  • 2005-2007  Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada only,
  • 2003-2007  Saturn Ion
  • 2006-2007  Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-2007  Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007  Saturn Sky
HHR, Chevrolet SUV

The Chevrolet HHR is one of the vehicles recalled by GM.


The flaw in the GM ignition switches has already caused the deaths of lots of people, and there is a growing controversy surrounding GM’s responsibility to its consumers given that company engineers were aware of this flaw and defect in the GM ignitions being used in cars out on the road since 2004.

That’s right: GM apparently knew about this danger for a decade before issuing a recall to get these cars into GM shops to be fixed.

During that time, news reports have tallied 12 deaths connected to the GM ignition problem. Who knows what the real number is, since people are still becoming aware that the GM ignition in these cars is dangerous.

Meanwhile, GM has hired a new “Vehicle Safety Chief” it announced today: Jeff Boyer will be the first person to fill this new slot at GM which is a job created in order to “quickly identify and resolve product safety issues.”

Congress has started an investigation into the GM ignition recalls, too, and the U.S. Attorney for the State of New York is reported to have begun a federal criminal investigation into this 10 year old mess.

[Sidenote: In 2013, GM reported a net income of $3.8 BILLION with GM North America recording its “best year ever.”]


March 2014 GM Recalls Another 1,500,000 GM Vehicles

While everyone is still dealing with the big news of the Ignition Switch Recall in these older GM vehicles, and the need to get these cars fixed before more people fall victim to these defective products and are seriously injured or killed in accidents resulting from the GM ignition’s turning off unexpectedly, another major GM recall was announced yesterday.

General Motors is also recalling 1,200,000 of its crossover Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for repair of the wiring in their side airbags. So far, GM is reporting no one being injured or killed as a result of this product flaw.

The same day, 2013 and 2014 Cadillac XTS sedans were recalled by General Motors because of a problem with their braking systems. GM is recalling 64,000 Cadillacs because these models are known to have overheating brakes that can catch fire. It’s reported that two fires have been known to have started from faulty Cadillac XTS brakes, no injuries have been reported.

Finally, 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans are being recalled. These are commercial vans that have been discovered to have a need to fix their instrument panel materials to protect unbelted passengers in the commercial vans in case of a crash. Again, no injuries have been reported to have resulted from this recalled product flaw.

The February 2014 General Motors Recall for Ignition Switch Danger

Here is the full text of last month’s announcement of a recall of GM cars due to a flaw in their ignition switches:


DETROIT – General Motors is expanding the recall of certain 2003-2007 model year vehicles to correct a condition with the ignition switch that may allow the key to unintentionally move or switch to the “accessory” or “off” position, turning off the engine and most of the electrical components on the vehicle.

In addition to 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 and Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada only, GM is separately recalling 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, and 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and 2007 Saturn Sky models. The affected U.S. vehicle population, including those vehicles recalled Feb. 13, totals 1,367,146.

This expanded vehicle population raises the number of reported incidents involving frontal crashes, in which the recall condition may have caused or contributed to the non-deployment of the frontal airbags, to 31 involving 13 front-seat fatalities.

As part of the recall, GM is taking steps to address customer concerns and working with its suppliers to increase parts production and accelerate availability.

GM will notify all affected customers that in addition to recalling their vehicles and performing repairs at no charge to them, GM and its dealers will work with customers on an individual, case-by-case basis to minimize inconvenience associated with the recall.

“Ensuring our customers’ safety is our first order of business,” said GM North America President Alan Batey. “We are deeply sorry and we are working to address this issue as quickly as we can.”

Going beyond required written notification, GM, through its customer care centers and social media teams, is using customer records and communications channels to notify affected customers of the recall and additional actions the company is willing to take to relieve their concerns and minimize inconvenience.

GM is recalling these vehicles because the ignition switch torque performance may not meet GM specifications. If the torque performance is not to specification, and the key ring is carrying added weight or the vehicle goes off road or experiences some other jarring event, the ignition switch may inadvertently be moved out of the “run” position.

The timing of the key movement out of the “run” position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the airbags not deploying, increasing the potential for occupant injury in certain kinds of crashes.

Dealers will replace the ignition switch to prevent the unintentional or inadvertent key movement. Until this correction is performed, customers should use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring. As always, customers should drive responsibly and use their safety belts.

On Monday, the company submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a detailed chronology associated with its initial recall of the ignition switch torque performance condition in Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s and Pursuits. The chronology outlines events that happened during the time that elapsed between receiving the first field reports and issuing a recall.

“The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been,” said Batey. “Today’s GM is committed to doing business differently and better. We will take an unflinching look at what happened and apply lessons learned here to improve going forward.”


Flooding Danger for Indiana This Week: Turn Around, Don’t Drown and Avoid Becoming Flood Victim While Driving Indiana Roads

February 20th, 2014 by admin

Here in Indiana, weather reports are warning that there will be heavy rains hitting our area this week, and when this is combined with the warmer temperatures melting all that snow out there, there is a high probability that parts of the state is going to be experiencing flooding.  Indianapolis is under a flood watch beginning today.


Prepare for Flood Waters With Sandbags Now – Freebies Are Available

Which means that proactive steps are needed now, to protect people and property from the dangers of flood waters. At the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, for example, locals are encouraged to get ready for rising water now by taking advantage of the free sandbags being offered by the County.

Those interested in getting the free sandbags can go to 1717 Pleasant Street in Noblesville during the following hours beginning this afternoon between 6 and 8 p.m. as well as the following weekend schedule:

  • Friday 4 – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Sunday 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

One thing before you get down there to get your freebies: they aren’t filling the bags for you. The sand is free, the bags are free. You have to fill the bags with the sand yourself.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown Campaign

Another danger with flood waters comes to drivers on roads where water is crossing the roadway but it’s not clear how much water is there, or whether or not the water is moving. Each year, there are tragic accidents where Indiana drivers make a mistake about driving into water and end up getting caught up in floodwaters and drowning. It’s so sad when this happens and yet, every year there are flooding deaths which could have been prevented if the driver had decided not to drive onto the patch of water-covered road.

Why do these drivers drive into water that can drown them? Obviously, the water is deceptive. It doesn’t look dangerous, the road looks passible.

There is a national campaign to educate people on the dangers of traffic deaths in flood waters and water-covered roads; created by the National Weather Service, the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” Campaign seeks to educate people about how dangerous water can be to drivers.  The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is actively promoting a “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign this week for the local area.

Avoid a Flooding Accident – Tips on Driving in Flood Conditions

From Ready.Gov:

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
  • Do not attempt to drive through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always obvious. The road bed may be washed out under the water, and you could be stranded or trapped.
  • Do not drive around a barricade. Barricades are there for your protection. Turn around and go the other way.
  • Do not try to take short cuts. They may be blocked. Stick to designated evacuation routes.
  • Be especially cautious driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.


Driving Dangers During 2014 Winter Storm Ion: Be Careful Out There!

January 7th, 2014 by admin

The Governors of the States of Illinois and Indiana both issued executive orders proclaiming States of Emergency due to the extreme weather that slammed into our area in a big winter storm that is being explained by meteorologists as the “Polar Vortex” pushing arctic winds and extremely low temperatures into the United States. It’s a huge event: there are reports of arctic birds being seen in Florida, and Chicago reported the coldest Jan. 6 ever recorded, with the Chicago official temperature reading of -16 degrees besting the old record of -14 degrees set in 1894.

It’s really, really cold here.

ice, winter storm

The storm has been given a name: Winter Storm Ion. It’s breaking weather records not only in Indiana and Illinois, but all across the country. This is a dangerous time for us, and we not out of the woods yet, though the worst of the Winter Storm Ion has passed.

Roads Closed Yesterday; We’re Back on the Move Today

On Sunday, the mayor of Indianapolis ordered everyone to stay off the roads, issuing an emergency mandate that made it a crime to be driving on the city’s roadways except for an emergency. Mayor Ballard thought conditions remained so severe yesterday that he thought extending closures another day were in order. Both Governor Quinn and Governor Pence ordered all state workers to stay home on Monday, January 6, 2014.

Today, state workers are to report to work, however, as Indiana state offices ramp up at ten o’clock today and Illinois state office workers likewise have been asked to return to their jobs today.

Our communities are beginning to get back on the move again. We’re tough, we’re used to dealing with snow and ice and cold here. Still, it’s sad but true that we will probably be reading about tragic deaths in weather-related traffic accidents during this week as dangerous road conditions threaten to take lives and cause serious personal injuries as people drive to or from work, or the grocery store, or the pharmacy.

Car Crashes and Traffic Accidents Are High Risk Now: Dangerous to be Driving During the 2014 Polar Vortex Winter Storm Ion

It’s still very hazardous to drive today, and most people are very aware that if they can stay off the roads right now, and while we’ve got such icy conditions, they should. However, for state workers and others who have to drive their vehicles, there are websites with vital information about how bad the roadways are out there.

Traffic accidents involving snow and icy conditions can be serious and people are at risk of serious injury or even death in a car crash or auto accident in this frigid weather. Truck accidents involving big rig semi trucks are even more of a lethal risk for a crash now because these experienced drivers are fighting to maintain control of these huge, heavy machines on roadways that threaten them with things like black ice and other unexpected road hazards.

Please be careful out there.

Online Reports of Current Road Conditions Throughout Indiana and Illinois

To check current road conditions in Illinois, check out the map for Winter Road Conditions online here.

For Indiana road conditions, go to the pages provided by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security here.

There is a current reporting of Indiana traffic too, go here to see what’s happening.


New Laws Effective January 1, 2014 In Our Area That Impact Driving on Illinois and Indiana Roads

December 31st, 2013 by admin

Several new pieces of legislation will become law tomorrow, the first day of the new year, including these state laws that will impact people driving in our part of the country:

1. Illinois will see a jump in the legal speed limit to 70 MPH on January 1, 2014, on all rural, 4-lane highways. (Before the change, the speed limit was 65 MPH.)

2. Illinois law in 2014 lowers the MPH over the legal speed limit where a driver on any Illinois roadway can be charged with “excessive speeding”. Starting tomorrow, you can be charged with excessive speeding if you’re driving 26 MPH over the legal speed limit (beforehand, it was 31 MPH over the legal limit).

3. Beginning tomorrow, Illinois will have a BAN on using a handheld cell phone while driving a motor vehicle on an Illinois roadway.

4. Penalties for those who are determined to have been using a device, like a smartphone, while driving and causing an accident or car crash as a result of the distraction, are going to be facing more severe penalties as of tomorrow.

5. It’s going to cost truckers more to drive through Indiana beginning tomorrow as a new motor carrier fuel use tax will be imposed on vehicles using liquefied or compressed natural gas, along with a use tax surcharge tax.


Finally, on this New Year’s Eve, let’s all remember that car accidents and traffic fatalities are a horrible and unexpected end to a night of fun festivities, so please be careful out there over the holiday!  

From the National Safety Council, this infographic on alcohol impaired traffic fatalities:

drunk driving, infographic, holiday driving alcohol impaired


Stay Safe During Holiday Travels 2013: Don’t Become a Traffic Statistic (Like Those Reported by the NSC)

December 24th, 2013 by admin

The official holiday travel season for Christmas and New Year’s has just began for 2013. (AAA starts tracking holiday traffic on December 21 and continues through to the New Year.)

With the severe weather that Illinois and Indiana have been experiencing this month, the importance of taking precautions and being aware of the particular dangers of road travel this holiday season is very important. (For details on safety tips in dealing with this winter weather, see our post from earlier this month.)

AAA Predicts High Volume of Traffic on U.S. Roads This Holiday Season – Many Are Choosing to Drive Rather than Fly

According to AAA, almost all holiday travelers (91%) – totaling around 85,800,000 people will be taking holiday trips by driving US roads this year. More people are choosing to drive than to fly in 2013 than last year, which means it’s likely that you or someone you know and love will be driving behind the wheel in holiday travel this week or next.

From their offices in Itasca, Illinois, the National Safety Council has reported that its researchers are predicting 105 traffic fatalities and 11,200 serious personal injuries in car accidents just during the time period of six o’clock on the evening today, Christmas Eve, though noon tomorrow, Christmas Day. The NSC research team forecasts another 156 traffic deaths and 16,700 serious injuries in traffic accidents next week in celebration of the New Year from 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve through noon on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2014.

Buckle Those Safety Belts – Even On Short Trips – It’s Safer For You and Your Passengers

Of course, there is a big drive to discourage drinking and driving this year — the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is in effect from December 13 to January 1, 2014. However, another big warning goes out to everyone on our holiday road trips to make sure everyone buckles up.

According to the NSC, wearing a safety belt in a car crash increases your chances of surviving by 45%. From the NSC:

  • Wear your safety belt every trip, every time – even when traveling a short distance
  • Model this safe behavior, especially in front of children
  • Ensure everyone is safely buckled up before you drive
  • Place children in age-appropriate safety seats


infographic, 2013 Holiday Travel