Archive for the ‘Auto Accidents’ Category

The 2015 Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Drunk Driving Campaign Has Begun

August 27th, 2015 by admin

In Indiana and Illinois, along with the rest of the country, state and local law enforcement agencies are working together with federal authorities to fight against drunk driving accidents over the upcoming holiday — and the crack down has already begun.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began on August 21, 2015, and continues through September 7, 2015. Police will be targeting drivers who are operating cars, trucks, SUVs, as well as commercial vehicles like big rig semi trucks and 18 wheelers for drivers who are operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Anyone with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher will be arrested for driving drunk (.08 is considered legally intoxicated in Indiana and Illinois).

According to NHTSA studies, drunk driving accidents are responsible for 31% of all deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and 68% of those drunk driving accidents had at least one driver with a BAC of .15% or higher. That’s two times more than what Indiana and Illinois define as driving drunk under the law.

This coordinated effort between federal, state, and local authorities is designed to pull drivers over and arrest those who are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

It’s a criminal effort, and arrests will be made.

However, for those accidents where people are seriously hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident, the criminal justice system will not provide the only avenue for justice against that drunk driver. Personal injury claims and wrongful death cases under state laws are of vital importance to accident victims and their families. It is through personal injury law that families are able to obtain relief for the realities of things like lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, pain and suffering, long term medical needs including therapy and rehabilitation, and more.

Promoting awareness of the dangers of drunk driving – especially over a holiday time period – will save lives. However, the truth is that too many people will still get behind the wheel thinking that they’re fine to drive and accidents will happen.

Over the next few weeks, it’s important that drivers in Indiana and Illinois be aware not just of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign — but of the increased risk of a drunk driving accident during this time peroid. The danger of being involved in an accident with a drunk driver is especially high at night (between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am) and over the holiday weekend itself (i.e., the three-day Labor Day weekend).

“Targeted enforcement campaigns are an essential element in our strategy to save lives and reduce crashes, and they have helped sharply reduce the number of drunk drivers on our roads,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “But too many drivers continue to risk their lives and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel drunk. Our message is clear: drive sober, or get pulled over.”

From Indiana’s Criminal Justice Institute, here are some tips for staying safe during the Labor Day Weekend:

  • Plan a safe way home before you start the Labor Day festivities;
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • If you’re drunk, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement immediately.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while drunk, be a friend and take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Driving More in 2015: Traffic Numbers Hit Record High This Year

August 25th, 2015 by admin

This month, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) released its latest tally of motor vehicle traffic in the United States, and its new data reveals Americans are driving more than ever before. In fact, so far this year, U.S. drivers have driven over double the number of miles driven during the comparison year 1981 — and we’ve already passed the 1.54 trillion mile marker in 2015.

You can read all the details about this record in U.S. traffic and Americans driving on our roads in the FHA’s “Traffic Volume Trends” report (published online for free download). Another report to consider with this information: a Department of Transportation report (”Beyond Traffic”) that estimates we will see a 43% jump in commercial truck traffic in the next 30 years.

As an example of how there’s more traffic to deal with here in our part of the country, according to the FHA report, Indiana saw a jump of 3% in traffic on rural roads in one month’s time (June 2014 compared to June 2015).

What does this mean for drivers in Indiana and Illinois?

Well, for one thing more drivers and more traffic mean the greater likelihood for motor vehicle traffic accidents of all kinds: truck crashes, pedestrian accidents, car crashes, motorcycle accidents, etc. Just increasing the amount of traffic means increasing the risk of accidents – and that’s before things like drunk driving or driving with distractions gets included as risk factors.

Road Conditions and Road Maintenance – Is It Keeping Up With All This Traffic?

However, given that the new federal report has traffic increasing for the 16th month in a row, there’s another real concern: road hazards and the infrastructure that exists for all these vehicles. Are state roads and interstate highway systems keeping up with this big increase in roadway use?

Road hazards and problems with roads and highways themselves can cause accidents and serious personal injuries just like driver error, speeding, drunk driving, and other commonly recognized causes of crashes. Things like the following are just a few examples of how the road surfaces themselves can contribute to accidents as the following are known causes of crashes:

  • potholes,
  • shoulder drop-offs,
  • uneven road surfaces caused by lack of care and heavy traffic (wheel ruts), and
  • slippery surfaces due to oil collected on a poorly maintained road surfaces.

This year, Congress passed a short-term budget bill and lawmakers will return to consider roadway budgeting issues in the fall. Funding highway infrastructure at both the federal and state levels is a continuing debate on how much money is to be spent and where funds should go.

In the meantime, drivers in Indiana and Illinois can expect to see more people on the roads with them, from the biggest highways to the smallest farm roads.

How safe are our roads?  Check our July 2013 post discussing the ranking of Indiana and Illinois highways, “Highway Systems Report Released: Indiana and Illinois Highway Systems Rated and Compared With Nation – How Safe Are Our Highways?”

It’s important that we all deal with the realities of more traffic — and that we are vigilant to all the risks that come with this historic upsurge in the number of vehicles sharing our roads with us and our loved ones.

July is Dangerous: Deadliest Month for Accident Victims

July 7th, 2015 by admin

Once again, Itasca’s National Safety Council has issued its warning about July, which statistics show is the most dangerous month of the year for fatal injuries due to accidents. For a variety of reasons, deaths due to preventable events jump up 11% this month – making it all the more important for everyone in Indiana and Illinois to take precautions to keep safe and to protect loved ones from danger.

Higher Risk for Accident Fatalities in July

Research studies have been done for years, charting accident fatalities and times of the year, both by season (weather conditions) as well as calendar month. This month — July — has been found to be the highest risk of being in a fatal accident for Americans based upon this ongoing research from Indiana’s NSC.

July is notorious for an increased percentage of fatalities due to things like:

  • Fatal car crashes
  • Deaths due to drowning
  • Deaths due to heat stroke
  • Fatal motorcycle accidents
  • Fatal aviation crashes (e.g., helicopters).

Accordingly, the NSC has issued the following safety tips for July, the most dangerous month of the year, and here they are for your convenience:

  1. Avoid speeding, using cell phones and driving under the influence.
  2. Place children in age-appropriate car seats.
  3. If you are flying, buy a ticket for children ages 2 and younger and place them in an FAA-approved child seat.
  4. Do not hold young children on your lap during a flight.
  5. Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them.
  6. Do not operate a boat while drinking or without a boater’s license.
  7. Make sure children use flotation devices and everyone in your group knows how to swim.
  8. Stay hydrated and avoid being outside for long periods of time in the extreme heat.
  9. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

Teenagers At High Risk of Serious Injury in July

Particularly vulnerable during the summer months, and especially July, are teenagers involved in summer fun activities as well as those teenagers driving their cars. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) considers the summer as a teenager’s “deadliest driving season,” and has researched fatal accident statistics to find that the following seven days are the most dangerous days for teenagers to be driving on the roads:

  • May 20
  • May 23
  • June 10
  • July 4
  • July 9
  • August 8
  • August 14.

 

Car Crashes: Fatalities Down But Still Too Many Killed in Motor Vehicle Accidents

July 2nd, 2015 by admin

A new research study published this month entitled “The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report,” has given details, state by state, regarding injury deaths in our country.

Not only does it include research on accidents and injury fatalities, it is also providing information on how things are getting better in some areas, like motor vehicle accidents and what we can do (and keep doing) to make our families and loved ones safer as they go about their daily lives.

According to the study, fatal motor vehicle accidents have decreased significantly over the past few years. Their studies show that motor vehicle accident deaths have dropped 25% over the past decade. That’s a great victory against car crash deaths, accidents that can cause so much tragedy so quickly.

 

10 Things to Know About Fatal Car Crash / Auto Accident Deaths in 2015

Nationally we have a ways to go: over 33,000 people will die in this country in an auto accident. We also know from this new study that:

  • Men are 3 times as likely to die in motor vehicle crashes than women.
  • Approximately 2,300,000 people needed emergency room treatment after a motor vehicle accident in 2013.
  • Motor vehicle accidents result in approximately $90 Billion in direct medical costs and lost productivity (loss because victim cannot work) annually.
  • Even though seat belts are the law in Indiana, Illinois, and most other states, 1 in 7 adults still don’t bother to buckle up before driving on every road trip.
  • Men are 10% more likely to not wear a safety belt than women.
  • In rural areas, adults only use their seat belts on an average of 78% of the time.
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of death of children between the ages of 4 and 14.
  • One-third of the deaths of children ages 0 – 12 years involved kids who were not wearing seat belts or riding in car seats or booster seats.
  • When used correctly, child safety seats can reduce fatal injuries by more than 70 percent for infants and more than 50 percent for toddlers.
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers: the reason for 33% of teen deaths in this country is because of a car accident.

For teens in Indiana and Illinois, as well as children under the age of 14 years, the danger of being seriously injured or killed in an auto accident here in Indiana or Illinois remains particularly high.  

Couple this with the risking rate of epidemic proportions of prescription pain medication misuse and overdose, and concern for the safety of young passengers and teen drivers in our part of the nation remains high, even if the statistics show that nationally, the overall danger of dying in a car accident is falling.  

Injuries Report by State: Illinois is Safer than Indiana; Drug Overdoses Leading Cause of Death in Both States

June 30th, 2015 by admin

Accidents that kill people and cause the wrongful deaths of innocent victims are a real tragedy whenever they happen, whether it is to someone close to home here in Indiana or Illinois, or elsewhere in the United States. It is frustrating and horrible to think how someone, through no fault of their own, loses their life because of a mistake (negligence). Sadly, this happens all the time — in car crashes, medical malpractice, truck accidents, on the job work injuries, and more.

Researchers are always studying how these accidents happen and what can be done in the future to prevent them. We report on their findings regularly as they are released by places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute for Health (NIH), and more. For instance, read our 2013 post, “Prescription Drug Abuse is a National Epidemic: How Are Indiana and Illinois Faring in Dealing with Prescription Drug Problem Per New 2013 Report?

New Study of Causes of Fatal Injuries in U.S.

One study released this month is particularly reveaaling about fatal injuries in accidents; it is entitled “The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report.” (You can read the full report online here.)

This report was compiled by the non-profit group Trust for America’s Health – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Its results are important for everyone to know about — from the general public, to parents, teachers, coaches, etc.

Why? This research shows that:

1 person dies from an injury every 3 minutes in the U.S.A. That’s 20 people every hour.

Injuries are the leading cause of death for people living in the U.S. between the ages of 1 year and 44 years of age.

Some states have a higher risk of death from an injury than others: the safest state from injuries is New York (rate of 40.3:100,000); the most dangerous is West Virginia (97.9:100,000).

Prescription drug abuse causes more accidental deaths than car accidents in over half of the states (36 out of 50) as well as the District of Columbia.

Illinois Injury Research Report

From the report’s findings specific to Illinois we know the following:

  • Illinois had the 7th Lowest Rate of Injury Deaths in U.S., which means it’s much safer to be in Illinois than Indiana which had the 25th Highest Rate of Injury Deaths.
  • Rates in Illinois remained stable over the past four years for injury deaths, which includes drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, homicides and others.
  • Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury in Illinois, surpassing motor vehicle-related deaths.
  • Illinois ranked 38th highest for drug overdose deaths.

Indiana Injury Research Report

From the report’s findings specific to Indiana:

  • Indiana had the 25th Highest Rate of Injury Deaths in U.S., which means it’s much riskier to be in Indiana than Illinois which had the 7th Lowest Rate of Injury Deaths.
  • Rates in Indiana increased over the past four years for injury deaths, which includes drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, homicides and others.
  • Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of injury in Indiana, surpassing motor vehicle-related deaths.
  • Indiana ranked 15th highest for drug overdose deaths.

From the TFAH News release:

“Injuries are persistent public health problems. New troubling trends, like the prescription drug overdose epidemic, increasing rates of fall-related deaths and traumatic brain injuries, are serious and require immediate response,” said Corrine Peek-Asa, MPH, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the College of Public Health, University of Iowa. “But, we cannot afford to neglect or divert funds from ongoing concerns like motor vehicle crashes, drownings, assaults and suicides. We spend less than the cost of a box of bandages, at just $.028 per person per year on core injury prevention programs in this country.”

 

Drunk Driving Car Accidents Are Big Danger Over 4th of July Holiday Weekend

June 25th, 2015 by admin

The upcoming Fourth of July weekend may be exciting to many Hoosiers and lots of us may be planning fun trips, going places with family and friends on the long holiday weekend. However, it’s also important for all of us on the roads over the Fourth of July weekend to be careful and prudent as we travel in traffic over the holiday.

Why? Because the risk is very high that we’ll be driving in traffic with people who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – which greatly increases the risk of a serious traffic accident or car crash where people are seriously injured or killed over the 4th of July weekend.

 

Why the Fourth of July is So Dangerous for Drivers on Indiana and Illinois Roads

Consider the following facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the lessons we can learn from their findings:

1. Over the July 4th holiday period from 2009 to 2013, 750 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or more. These fatalities account for 39% percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period.

We all need to know that this is a REAL danger as we get behind the wheel over the holiday: almost half of the total number of traffic accident deaths in the United States in the years 2009-2013 were caused by drunk drivers.

2. In 2013, over the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend, of the fatal car accidents that happened between the hours of nine o’clock at night and midnight (9 pm – midnight) over half — 55% — were caused by drunk drivers.

So, driving between 9 pm and midnight — or after dark — is even more dangerous for serious and fatal crashes caused by a drunk driver.

3. During the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, studies found that it was 300% more likely that drunk drivers were the cause of fatal traffic accidents where someone died in the crash in accidents that happened after dark rather than in the daytime.

Lesson here: if at all possible, try and not be out on the roads over the 4th of July holiday weekend after dark, especially in areas where you know there are nightclubs, bars, or other places where alcoholic beverages are served.

4. Studies have found that not only are drivers more likely to be driving under the influence over the holiday weekend and especially at night over that time period, but that they are more than a little buzzed: over one-fifth of these drivers tested out at TWICE the legal BAC limit.

Which means we all need to be aware of just how seriously impaired some of these holiday drivers may be who are sharing the roads with us.

5. Young drivers (18-34 years) who died in traffic accidents over the 2013 Fourth of July holiday were legally drunk.

The dangers of driving over the Fourth of July holiday here in Indiana and Illinois really need to be considered by teens and young adults who are out enjoying the holiday because they are statistically shown to be the most likely to be vulnerable to the drunk driving risk.

From everyone here at Kenneth J. Allen Law Group, please have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!!

Have a Safe Fourth of July Holiday: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over in Indiana and Illinois

June 23rd, 2015 by admin

Families all around our part of the country —in Indiana and Illinois — are planning for the next big holiday weekend which is about two weeks away: the Fourth of July weekend holiday. Officially, the Fourth of July weekend begins on Thursday, July 2, 2015 at six o’clock in the evening and end at midnight on Monday, July 6, 2015.

All that time gives families here a great opportunity for a short excursion to nearby places like the local lake sandy beaches, or to do a “staycation” and still around their town, enjoying shopping and relaxing and maybe a dinner out at a nice restaurant in Chicago or Valparaiso.

Whether your plans are for staying home or taking a road trip, the upcoming holiday means lots of people will be on driving the local roads over the Independence Day Weekend, enjoying their time off.

Which means that once again, the national campaign against Drunk Driving will be geared up by state and local authorities to try and prevent people from being hurt or killed in traffic accidents where one of the drivers is driving under the influence.

This holiday weekend is a huge danger for everyone because of drunk driving traffic accidents.  According to government studies, in fatal traffic car crashes over the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, for example, 20% of the people driving on the roads in cars, SUVs, trucks, minivans, and motorcycles, were driving drunk with blood levels almost 200% over the legal limit.

 

The July 2015 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is designed to stop drunk drivers before they can get into an accident. Law enforcement in our area will be out on the roads more than usual, with police officers enforcing DUI laws with zero tolerance.

There will be checkpoints set up by local police departments, as well as “saturation patrols” on roadways where the police know or have reason to believe that a lot of the drivers there may be driving while intoxicated.

The No Refusal Weekend

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) also promotes this weekend as part of a national “no refusal” time period.

During these No Refusal Weekends, laws in various jurisdictions not only focus their efforts on traffic safety but they also take other steps to stop drunk driving. For instance, in many parts of the country protecting the driver’s constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure are weighed against public safety with things like allowing search warrants to be granted by judges to police officers over the phone when a driver refuses to give law enforcement a breath test. The over the phone search warrant allows a blood sample to be drawn as soon as possible from the suspected drunk driver and an arrest made on Blood Alcohol Content based upon the test results.

Here’s a public safety video from NHTSA that reminds us all that even a “buzz” means that you’re driving drunk here in Indiana and Illinois.

Be careful out there and Happy Fourth of July from everyone at the Kenneth J. Allen Law Group!

Distracted Driving Cause of Accidents: Proving Fault in a Car Crash

June 11th, 2015 by admin

Drivers are driving with all sorts of distractions today; in our previous post, we discussed the recent AT&T research study results which had shocking admissions from phone users on all the ways that they are using their cell phones while driving — regardless of all the warnings and public campaigns on the dangers of Distracted Driving.

As you drive to work, home, school, the shopping mall, or the grocery store, consider all the traffic surrounding you.

You cannot know which vehicles are being driven responsibly and which are being driven by drivers distracted because they are checking their e-mail, taking selfies, or texting on their phones.

Accidents are going to happen as a result of this behavior, that’s a given. So, if you or a loved one is in a traffic accident where you suffer serious injuries in the crash, then how are you going to prove that the other driver was busy on their phone and caused the crash?

It won’t be easy. The other driver isn’t likely to admit that they were driving while distracted by their phone. It will be important for you to have the help of an experienced personal injury law firm and that firm’s expertise not only in the law but in accident investigations to get to the truth of what has happened.

1. Accident Investigation

Professional investigators know how to check into an accident and determine what caused the crash. They use scientific analysis (rate of speed, angle of path, etc.) to confirm what driver failed in properly driving their vehilce. They also have the ability to recreate the event using computer technology. Their studies can show which car failed to brake, which car went through the intersection without slowing down, which car was speeding, etc.

These experts can take the witness stand, if need be, and explain to the jury what has happened and what driver caused the crash.

2. Discovery of Phone Records

Lawyers are able to demand documents and records be turned over to them (and their clients) as part of the formal “discovery” process in a civil injury case. Subpoenas may need to be served, and court orders are sometimes required to force things, but the law allows a plaintiff’s injury attorney to get access to things like the phone records of the driver suspected of distracted driving at the time of the crash. The details of those cell phone records are vital to proving distraction caused the accident.

2. Police Reports and Officer Testimony

Police officers at the scene of the accident may also be important to proving that distracted driving caused the accident. These officers will have completed their own accident reports, which can be used in the civil injury case. Additionally, the police officer may be a witness to the event and provide helpful expert testimony on what caused the accident.

Law enforcement are trained to look for distracted driving as a cause of any traffic accident because driving while distracted by a phone is against the law in Indiana and Illinois:

Illinois Distracted Driving Laws

All drivers are banned from using their cell phones as hand-held. Hands free is still allowed except for novice drivers.
Learner’s permit holders and drivers under the age of 19 years (novice drivers) are not allowed to use their phones at all (hands held or hands free).
School bus drivers are not allowed to use their cell phones at all.
All drivers are not to text while driving.
No use of cell phones by any driver in a school zone or a construction zone.
Primary enforcement for all offenses.

Indiana Distracted Driving Laws

There is no ban for hand-held cell phones or hands free phones for drivers unless they are new to driving.
Drivers under the age of 18 years (novice drivers) are not to use phones at all (hand-held or hands free).
No drivers are to text while driving.
Primary enforcement for all offenses.

How Crazy is Distracted Driving? Drivers Are Surfing, Chatting, and Taking Selfies While Driving

June 9th, 2015 by admin

Most of our discussion of distracted driving here has been on the usual suspects involved here: texting while driving, for instance, or talking on the phone while driving. However, distracted driving involves a lot more than texting or talking and recent studies are showing just how many other things that drivers are doing besides concentrating on driving their vehicles on the roads we all share.

Distracted Drivers Are Taking Selfies, Surfing the Web, and Checking EMails While Driving

Consider the recent research from AT&T that reveals 17% of drivers admit to taking selfies or other photos with their phones while they are driving their vehicle. Their study also found the following disturbing revelations:

Smartphone activities people say they do while driving include:

Text2 (61%)
Email2 (33%)
Surf the net (28%)
Facebook3 (27%)
Snap a selfie/photo (17%)
Twitter3 (14%)
Instagram3 (14%)
Shoot a video (12%)
Snapchat3 (11%)
Video chat (10%)
Other unsettling findings include:

62% keep their smartphones within easy reach while driving.
30% of people who post to Twitter while driving do it “all the time.”
22% who access social networks while driving cite addiction as a reason.
Of those who shoot videos behind the wheel, 27% think they can do it safely while driving.

Proving Distracted Driver Doing Bad Things in a Car Crash Claim

Now, ponder that you or a loved one has been in an accident and seriously hurt by someone who was distracted from driving.  How angry would you be to learn that the other driver was busy taking a selfie or checking their email when the accident occurred?

A bigger question: what are you going to do to prove your claim that they are at fault? Experienced injury lawyers may be needed to help you prove that there was distracted driving on the part of the other driver that caused your crash and the resulting injuries.

Statistics show:

1. Over 25% of all auto accidents in the United States are caused by a driver using his or her phone.
2. The number of accidents caused by texting while driving alone rose 6%+ in 2013 alone.
3. Over 1,200,000 million accidents in 2013 were caused by someone talking on their phone while driving.

For more on all the things that people are doing in their cars instead of focusing on driving the vehicle, watch this:

Illinois and Indiana Drivers Take Heed of “100 Deadly Days” Warns the National Safety Council

June 2nd, 2015 by admin

Researchers and safety advocates are very concerned about predictions being made about the upcoming few months, where the months of Summer 2015 are being dubbed “100 Deadly Days” for U.S. Drivers.

Why? The number of fatal traffic accidents has jumped up 11% in the past 90 days, compared with the corresponding three months of 2014. In the six month period from October 2014 to March 2015, there were 17,820 deaths resulting from car crashes nationally (an 8% increase) — and the highest rise in accident fatalities were in the states of Arkansas, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.

Other research is showing the reason for most of these fatal accidents in each state.  Dangerous driving may cause fatal crashes, but the reasons aren’t the same across the country.  In Indiana and Illinois, for instance (see chart compiled from NHTSA data below), most fatal accidents are caused by drivers who fail to keep in the proper lane of traffic.

However, cross the state line into Kentucky or Wisconsin, and it’s different.  In Kentucky, most fatal car crashes are caused by over-correcting and in Wisconsin, most traffic fatalities are the result of drivers failing to yield the right of way.

 

So far, so good for the Great Lakes area, right? Well, that’s until the warm summer weather comes into play.

It’s expected that lower gasoline prices and the expected increase in vacations being taken by car are going to combine with other factors (like kids out of school) to increase the number of cars and SUVs and minivans and trucks on the nation’s highways and interstates. The experts are concerned we’re going to have a lot more traffic accidents in the next few months.

From the National Safety Council President Deborah A.P. Hersman:

“While the statistics point out a dangerous trend, we have the ability to influence outcomes through our choices and behavior, Summer is typically a high-exposure period with lots of miles driven and several long holiday weekends. Take your responsibilities behind the wheel this summer seriously and ensure that you get to your destination safety.”

Driver Safety Tips for Hoosiers This Summer

What can we do to keep safe and protect our loved ones from being injured or killed in a car crash or motor vehicle accident on the roads of Indiana or Illinois, this year especially? Consider the following precautions:

  • Check your brakes for wear
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have good tread
  • Make sure drivers and passengers are wearing their safety belts
  • Don’t get distracted by cell phones or smartphones in either texting, talking, or hands-free phone chat
  • Plan road trips with rest breaks
  • Stop when you’re tired, don’t drive when you’re drowsy
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Leave early so you’re not under pressure to make up time and tempted to speed
  • Beware other drivers and drive cautiously, especially in construction zones or heavy traffic.

If you or a loved one are in a car crash or traffic accident this summer, then you need to be aware of the state laws that are on the books to protect you and yours in the event of serious injury or wrongful death due to the negligence of another.

Both Indiana and Illinois have statutes providing for injury claims for damages including lost wages, medical expenses, long term medical care needs, and more.  Wrongful Death Laws have been passed by the state legislatures to protect the loved ones who have suffered the loss of a family member in an accident, too.

Be careful out there!