Articles Posted in Chicago Car Accident

car pileup on kennedy expressway

An early-spring weather mix of snow and ice along with high-speed, distracted drivers caused an early morning 50-car pile-up that shut down the Kennedy Expressway for five hours on Wednesday, April 15. Illinois State Police reports said the crash sent 14 people to the hospital and left another 45 on-scene for medical evaluations. A dozen ambulances responded to the scene.

“Overnight conditions deteriorated. We got some snow. Some icy conditions on the expressway. Vehicles driving at high rates of speed caused the accident,” said Deputy District Fire Chief John Giordano. “It caused an effect where vehicles couldn’t stop behind them because of the high speeds they were traveling, and thus the amount of vehicles we have at this time.”

When road conditions become hazardous, drivers who operate too fast for conditions and while distracted are especially dangerous to everyone they share the road with. The wreck has since been noted as one of the most significant pile-ups experienced on inbound Kennedy at North and involved 46 vehicles, including three tractor-trailers and semi-trucks.

The CDC defines distracted driving as any activity that involves visual, manual or cognitive distraction. In short, distracted driving refers to anything that takes a driver’s eyes or mind away from the road or anything that involves removing a driver’s hands from the wheel. Finding a song on the radio, checking a phone for directions, texting, talking on the phone, eating, applying makeup, searching for something in the glove compartment, and even talking to a passenger all count as distracted driving. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because a driver faces all three types of distraction. According to the CDC, in the 5 seconds that it takes to read or send a text, a driver going 55 mph would cover the length of a football field. In 5 seconds, so much can go wrong.

According to 2015 data, the latest results available from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,477 people were killed as a result of distracted driving, the most of any year on record. Of those victims, 67% were teenagers aged 16-19.

Car Accidents the Leading Cause of Death for Teens

Let’s start with some facts about car accidents and smartphones in America:

  1. In the past two years, the number of pedestrians and cyclists struck and killed has increased by 22%
  2. In the past two years, the total number of FATAL car accidents has risen by 14%

Face it, something that you never want to experience is a rollover crash. However, please be aware that rollover crashes happen often. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 280,000 rollover crashes occur annually. These accidents, on average, claim more than 10,000 lives every year!

Just last week, a couple days before Halloween, a 19-year-old Illinois sustained serious, but not life-threatening, injuries in a rollover crash. The crash happened during rush hour around 5:30 p.m. This was a single vehicle accident. At the time of the accident, the young girl was driving westbound when her vehicle drifted onto the shoulder of the road. As novice drivers tend to do, this young driver overcorrected her vehicle causing it to overturn numerous times. The vehicle came to rest in the center of the highway. Luckily, this female driver was wearing a seatbelt. On the arrival of emergency crews, the female had to be extricated from the vehicle. She was then flown to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Given the severity and frequency of rollover crashes, it is important to understand how to avoid these accidents. If you are a victim of an auto accident at the fault of another person, it is imperative that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your resulting damages.  

Recently, in Kane County, Illinois, two 16-year olds were killed in a car accident. The accident happened around 5:00 p.m. this past Saturday, north of Elburn, Kane County, near Meredith and Beith roads. The two teenagers were traveling westbound in a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. Their truck stopped at an intersection stop sign. From here, the truck slowly crept into the intersection right in front of a southbound 1979 Peterbilt tractor-trailer carrying corn. The tractor-trailer crashed into the teens’ truck killing the two teens.  

Teens and Auto Accidents

This may not surprise you, but teens are responsible for a high number of auto accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) reports that 221,313 teens visited the emergency room in 2014 for injuries they incurred in an auto accident. During that same year, 2,270 teens died because of a car accident.

Picture this: you are driving along the road when you are suddenly involved in an auto accident, a horrible one. Suppose you incur a lot of medical expense and miss work for several weeks. The damages are extravagant. Now suppose the court finds that you were partially at fault for the accident and rule that you are not entitled to compensation!

The above scenario would hold true in five states, but, luckily, not here in Illinois. Illinois uses a comparative fault approach negligence claims/cases. We will delve into this concept below. First, however, if you are injured from a car accident at the fault of another person, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney for your case.

Illinois’ Comparative Fault Act
Continue reading ›

Drowsy driving is a common cause of car accidents. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that there are about 328,000 car accidents every year that result from drowsy or fatigued drivers. These accidents are often serious and sometimes even fatal. The National Transportation Safety Board found that drowsy driving there are between 4,000 and 7,000 deaths, per year, caused by drowsy driving! According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in Illinois, there were 927 traffic fatalities in 2014, alone.

Drowsy driving is also a major problem right here in Illinois. As a matter of fact, Illinois is one of only five states that references drowsy on their crash forms! If you or someone you love is injured from an auto accident at the fault of another person, it is important that you retain an experienced attorney for your case.

How to Avoid Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
Continue reading ›

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.”
Continue reading ›

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:
Continue reading ›

At this time of year, the weather can be pretty unpredictable in the Midwest, and the same can be said for the road conditions. In December, a brisk 40-something degree-day at noon can easily transform into foggy, rainy, icy conditions by nightfall, and these conditions can result in tragedy in the wrong circumstances.
Continue reading ›

Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards Winner
The National Trial Lawyers
Elder Care Matters Alliance
American Association for Justice
Fellow Litigation Counsel of America
Super Lawyers
Contact Information