July 20, 2016

Handling the Early Stages of a Car Accident the Right Way

by Levin & Perconti

After you are injured in a car accident, you need to take decisive steps in order to be fairly and fully compensated for your accident. As a driver or passenger, you need to be well informed regarding what to do after an accident happens, because car accidents continue to happen with alarming frequency in the Chicago metropolitan area.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety issued reports indicating the number of crashes in each county of Illinois for 2013 . These statistics are illustrated in the following table indicating the number of car accidents in Cook County and collar counties.

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June 27, 2016

Teen Driver Safety Program Credited with Reducing Traffic Deaths

by Levin & Perconti

Teen driver fatalities in Illinois are down sharply since 2007, and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White credits the state’s Graduated Driver Licensing program that he championed in 2008 as a key factor.

There were 155 teen driving accident deaths in 2007 and 71 teen driving accident fatalities in 2013, according to Illinois Department of Transportation figures that White cited Oct. 20 for the kickoff of National Teen Driver Safety Week.

The legislation implemented stricter teen driver provisions:

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May 28, 2016

New Technology May Detect Texting While Driving

by Levin & Perconti

Using a cell phone while driving is convenient, but research has shown that “text messaging while driving creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted.” In Illinois, crashes due to inattentive driving led to a law against the practice in January, 2013.

The following January, the legislature banned all hand-held use, and all cell phone use while in construction or school zones, with fines for violation ranging from $75 to $500 across the state. Police have been issuing tickets in increasing volumes – for example, State Troopers issued 1,222 in the first quarter of 2013 and 3,307 for the same period in 2014. However, the practice continues, in part because police have had difficulty enforcing the ban.

Now those who rely on hand held devices while driving should be on notice: a Virginia company called ConSonics says it is developing a new tool to make police enforcement of the hand-held ban much easier.

ConSonics already provides police with the radar-guns that detect speeding violations. A company spokesman described the new tool as a similar device that would allow police to detect the signature frequencies of text messaging or cell phone use based on the frequencies emanating from a passing car.

The technology is already used by cable repair workers who must find cable damage in walls – for example, where rodents have gnawed through wires, disrupting frequencies. The company says the device is “close to production.”

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April 28, 2016

Driving Under the Influence…of Fatigue

by Levin & Perconti

A car accident that causes serious injury and death is never good news. Still, high profile accidents can help bring attention to important issues of public safety. This is certainly true for the recent accident in New Jersey that left one comedian dead and seriously injured others, including Tracy Morgan—well-known former cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and supporting actor in the sitcom, “30 Rock.”

In the aftermath of this accident, which left Mr. Morgan with numerous broken bones and in intensive care, prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against the driver of a Wal-Mart truck. According to the complaint, when the truck smashed into Mr. Morgan’s limo, its driver had been awake for over 24 hours. And since this accident, numerous national media outlets—including The New York Times, Forbes, and The Huffington Post—have shed much-needed light on the scourge of drowsy driving.

A Common Problem

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is responsible for over 100,000 car accidents every year, which lead to 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. Perhaps even more shockingly, a 2002 report by the same agency revealed that over 1/3 of all drivers nod off or fall asleep at least once behind the wheel at some point in their driving careers.

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March 30, 2016

Educate Your Young Drivers on the Hazards of Distracted Driving

by Levin & Perconti

Distraction can be a dangerous thing, and our young drivers are suffering most of all. In fact, drivers in their 20s make up a staggering 27% of all distracted drivers in fatal car accidents. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that thousands of people are killed each year in distraction-related crashes, and approximately 424,000 additional people are injured. This number has been steadily rising, and that is a cause for serious concern, especially with technology becoming more and more a part of our drive.

Distracted driving includes any activity that has the potential to divert your attention away from the road when driving. We often have dozens of things to distract us in our vehicles at any one time. It is important to communicate the facts about distracted driving to loved ones and young drivers, to ensure that the next generation understands the responsibility they have as drivers and tech-users.

Here are a few quick facts about distracted driving to get the ball rolling:

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March 8, 2016

Pedestrian Safety Tips For Life In the Big City

by Levin & Perconti

If Punxsutawney Phil is to be believed, spring temperatures will soon be on the way, and that means that people all over the City of Chicago will soon be emerging from their homes to enjoy the warming weather and longer days. With this in mind, our lawyers want to remind you that individuals living in urban populations make up approximately 70% of all pedestrian car accident fatalities nationwide. While it is impossible to totally guarantee one’s safety in the constantly shifting urban environment, following these pedestrian safety recommendations can significantly decrease your chance of becoming a victim. (NHTSA)

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February 26, 2016

Takata Air Bag Recalls Swell to Affect 25 Million U.S. Vehicles

by Levin & Perconti

Product liability is a branch of personal injury law that deals primarily with dangerous and/or defective products being brought to the market due to negligent manufacturers. Since 1966, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has required companies and their affiliates to recall some 400 million motor vehicles, 50 million tires and 70 million other components to correct potentially dangerous auto design defects and keep consumers safe while on the road.

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February 24, 2016

Our Lawyer’s Tips For New Motorcyclists

by Levin & Perconti

Despite the fact that bikers are roughly 35 times as likely to be involved in a deadly accident than those driving cars, motorcycle use continues to grow nationwide, with new riders registering every day. We’ve had a few cold patches here and there, but it appears spring is just around the corner – and that means a lot of motorcyclists are excited to get back out on the open road.

Our lawyers want to remind you that motorcycle safety is not only important for motorcyclists, it is essential to ensure the safety of each of the drivers sharing the road with these vehicles. With that in mind, our Chicago car accident lawyers want to share a few important tips and precautions for every beginner or novice motorcyclist. (Center for Disease Control & Prevention; motorcycle.org)

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January 30, 2016

Winter Weather Driving Tips to Get Where You Are Going Safely

by Levin & Perconti

The temperatures are pretty low in Chicago this time of year, and like it or not, that means there is the possibility of significant snowfalls before the winter is through. Our lawyers believe that every person living in the Chicago metropolitan area should be educated on the basics of operating a vehicle in ice, sleet, or snow. What follows is a list of winter driving safety tips, to better keep our readers and those around them safe:

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January 28, 2016

Trucking is Big Business, But Drivers and Companies Must Be Held Accountable

by Levin & Perconti

The term ‘trucking accident’ encompasses any collision that involves a large trailer, usually with a frame weighing in excess of 10,000 lbs. Approximately 500,000 of these accidents occur every year in the United States, adding up to one out of every eight traffic fatalities. Still, with the economy doing well and revenues connected to the trucking industry totaling well over $600 billion last year, it’s safe to say that sharing our roadways with large trucks is not an option, it’s simply reality. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

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January 26, 2016

In 2016, Distracted Driving Accidents Remain Underreported

by Levin & Perconti

The ubiquity of technology in 2016 benefits our society in many ways. People have more access to information (like this webpage), they can communicate with friends, family or work associates from the other side of the world, and they can even keep tabs on their favorite celebrities. Still, the prevalence of technology isn’t all roses.

Distraction behind the wheel has grown to a problem of epidemic proportions in the United States, and with new and innovative technology coming out every month, remedying this epidemic may not be an easy task. Using cell phones, navigation systems, and Mp3 players behind the wheel increases your chances of being involved in a crash exponentially, and it is against the law in most of the fifty states. However, safety agencies and researchers are now finding that we may only be at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to distracted driving injuries and fatalities, because thousands of these accidents aren’t being reported properly.

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January 23, 2016

Drunk Driving: How to Spot Dangerous Behavior in Other Drivers

by Levin & Perconti

Let’s begin with the good news: from 1982, when record keeping on the subject began, to the present day, the rate of alcohol impaired driving fatalities in the United States has dropped roughly 65%. A multitude of different safety agencies currently sponsor national drunk driving prevention and awareness campaigns, and many other facets of our society are now doing their part to curb the number of unnecessary road deaths. The results speak for themselves; a 65% reduction in fatalities is something we can all be proud of. However, we would be remiss to think that we are out of the woods just yet.

Despite all of our progress, drunk driving remains one of the most common causes of death and injury on our roads. Nearly 30 people continue to die in car accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver every day in the United States, and the number of people who suffer serious injuries as a result of these accidents is far greater. All together, drunk drivers alone account for nearly 1/3rd of all traffic deaths every single year. The worst part - every one of these accidents are completely preventable.

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