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Litchfield Illinois Motor Vehicle Accident Blog

What are the benefits of keeping kids rear-facing in a car?

You may have heard the recent recommendations that children be kept in a rear-facing position while riding in a car until they reach the age of two. Previous recommendations said your child could turn around once he or she turned one. So, what has changed?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the recommendation for rear-facing car seats changed due to more research into crashes and the effects on the small bodies of children. A rear-facing position offers more support in the event of an accident. Due to physics and how the body continues moving forward even when a vehicle stops, the rear-facing position, prevents the child's head and neck from being snapped forward on impact. Because a child under two is not completely developed, especially in the neck, this position can greatly reduce the number of fatalities and severe injuries in accidents.

What is reckless homicide?

If you are involved in a car accident in Illinois, you probably understand that things get very serious if someone dies as a result of the accident. According to the Illinois General Assembly, when someone is killed as a result of a traffic accident, it is called reckless homicide. This charge may be leveled even if the act was unintentional. In general, it is a Class 3 felony charge, but there are spcial cases where it becomes a Class 2 felony. The possible consequences may also differ based upon the circumstances of the accident.

If your accident occurs in a school zone with a crossing guard present, in a construction zone or because you failed to follow the direction of a law enforcement officer or traffic control device, then it is a Class 2 felony. You are facing a minimum of three years in prison and could get a maximum of 14 years. If your accident involves the death of someone in your family or household, you are also subject to these sentencing guidelines, but the minimum is not mandatory.

Motorcycle crashes can lead to permanent disability

Many motorcyclists do not realize how traumatic and life-altering motorcycle accidents in the Litchfield area can be until they are involved in one. Riders who survive their accidents are likely to end up with serious injuries including brain trauma, internal bleeding and broken bones. Many of them also end up with permanent disabilities. According to PR Newswire, their legs and feet are extremely vulnerable and likely to become seriously injured and lead to disability

Motorcycle accidents are becoming so common that it is rare when a single day goes by without hearing about one. Whether they are caused by distractions, driver/rider error, alcohol and drug influence and recklessness, the risk of injury to riders is far greater than it is for motorists in cars and trucks. There are no enclosed structures to help absorb the impact of collisions and shield them. 

What are some statistics about motorcycle accidents?

Motorcycle accidents are a major concern on Illinois roadways. If you are a biker, you probably understand how risky it can be to ride. You are much smaller than other vehicles on the road. This can make you hard to see and can lead to accidents that happen in the blink of an eye. Keeping yourself safe out there has to be a priority. It may help to get some facts and statistics about accidents involving motorcycles so you are aware of the biggest risks.

The Insurance Information Institute notes that Illinois is one of only three states without a helmet law despite research that shows helmets can save lives in motorcycle accidents. In fact, the rate of deaths for motorcyclists in accidents was about 10 times higher in states without helmet laws. 

Drowsy driving can increase the odds of a crash

Despite federal and state educational outreach about the dangers of drowsy driving, not all Illinois drivers have a sufficient awareness of just how dangerous it can be. People who would never think of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks often have no problem driving after a sleepless night, although experts have deemed the effects comparable.

Fatigue can affect the ability to drive safely in a number of ways. Avoiding drowsy driving can make commutes and road trips safer for everyone.

What are the pedestrian crossing laws in Illinois?

In the last few years, there have been some changes to Illinois pedestrian crossing laws. These changes have been confusing for drivers. At the heart of the new laws is the idea of keeping pedestrians safe and making drivers more responsible. As a driver, it is your responsibility to watch out for pedestrians and understand the current laws.

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State reports in 2014, there were a total of 78 pedestrians killed in the state. By reworking laws to put more of the responsibility on drivers, the state hopes to prevent such deaths. The laws state that drivers must always yield to pedestrians. This includes when they are within crosswalks and when they are not within crosswalks. This is the biggest change to the law of which you should be aware.

What happens when truckers drive while distracted?

Most motorists in Litchfield know how dangerous distractions can be. However, many of them do not realize that distractions are even more dangerous when truckers engage in them. Distractions may seem like a great way to keep one’s attention on driving, but they have the opposite effect. Distractions encourage drivers of all types to take even greater risks and commit more driving errors that increase the number of accidents that occur.

Long work hours increase the temptation for distractions 

Tips to avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is a concerning issues in Illinois. With the rise of mobile device use and advances in technology, drivers are having more trouble than ever paying attention to the road. Accidents caused by distracted driving are completely preventable. If a driver is focused on driving only, then such accidents never occur. A person can be a distracted driver and not even realize it. Many of the little things people do when they drive take their focus off the road.

According to Consumer Reports, there are simple things a driver can do to ensure he or she avoids distracted driving. Drivers should plan ahead so they do not have to do anything else when driving. This includes eating, grooming or messing with technology. Cell phones should be silenced or put in an inaccessible location. GPS devices should be set before leaving home. In addition, each driver should become familiar with the controls for the heating and cooling, radio, lights and windshield wipers to prevent having to take their eyes off the road when driving.

The deadliness of distracted driving

Far too many Illinois residents have been in a car or truck accident or know someone who has. With the advent of cellphone technology, an alarming number of motor vehicle crashes today are caused by distracted drivers talking or texting on their cellphones.

Cellphone usage while driving is a huge part of the distracted driving problem. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approximately 660,000 drivers used cellphones while driving during daylight hours in 2015. Teenagers made up the largest age group of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal crash.

What are the unique motorcycle driving dangers in the fall?

As summer comes to an end, you may be ready for the cooler fall days, the beautiful brightening leaves and the comfortable driving conditions. However, fall also ushers in some risks for riding your motorcycle that are not common at other times of the year. These risks come from the unique situations that only come when the seasons change from summer to fall.

MotorcycleCentral.com notes the best way for you to stay safe on yoru motorcycle is to recognize the changes that occur during fall. These include cooler temperatures, less daylight, animals on the move and falling leaves. Cooler temperatures mean dressing a bit more heavily to avoid discomfort. Leather is a good choice for fall motorcycle attire.

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