Illinois motorists may have heard that autonomous cars will eventually replace vehicles that are driven by people. This will lead to changes across a number of industries including automobile insurance. While drivers are usually liable in accidents when they are negligent, with self-driving cars, the focus will shift to manufacturers, contractors and software developers.
The chief executive of the National Safety Council discussed the rising roadway fatality rates at a press conference on Feb. 15. According to an estimate from the advocacy group, the number of traffic deaths in Illinois and across the U.S. surged to 40,200 in 2016. This was the first time the rate has gone above 40,000 since 2007.
Car accidents are a fact of life. No one likes to think about them, but they happen. If you drive enough, it is very likely that you will wind up in at least one at some point during your driving career. The key to handling the situation well and getting back on your feet again is knowing what to do when disaster strikes. That way, you have a plan from the moment of impact, and you also know how to access legal help and other resources to help you recover costs related to the crash.
Illinois drivers in the 19-to-24 age group may be among the most dangerous drivers although people in all age groups admit to dangerous driving behaviors according to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. However, in some cases, millennials were twice as likely as other age groups to say that certain dangerous driving behaviors were acceptable or to engage in those behaviors themselves. For example, 12 percent of millennials versus 5 percent of other age groups said that it was acceptable in a school zone to drive 10 mph above the speed limit.
Illinois residents who have been injured in accidents in which a driver was distracted by a cellphone phone may be interested to learn that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple. The plaintiffs are asking Apple to install a safety lock feature in all new iPhones sold in the state of California and to update older phones with the feature. Apple has had the technology since 2008 and patented the safety lock in 2014.
On Jan. 23, it was reported that a car accident left one person dead and three others injured. According to the Illinois State Police, the crash took place on U.S. 150 at about 1:52 p.m. just two miles from the Illinois-Indiana border.
A single-vehicle car accident that occurred on Jan. 17 left three Illinois residents dead and one person with serious injuries. The accident occurred on the Eisenhower Expressway near Western Avenue in Chicago at about 2:15 a.m.
Several studies have found that a disturbing number of motorists in Illinois and around the country feel that sending text messages, making phone calls and even watching videos while behind the wheel are acceptable. While companies like Twitter and Facebook have been criticized by road safety advocates and law enforcement figures for not doing enough to deter this kind of behavior, the company behind the popular Snapchat messaging application has been accused of encouraging motorists to drive at dangerous speeds.
Unpredictable weather conditions and heavy traffic congestion can sometimes make driving in Illinois hazardous, but Texas and Louisiana have the nation's most dangerous roads according to a report from an auto insurance comparison website that was compiled using 2015 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other states where motorists may be wise to remain especially vigilant include Arizona, Montana, Alabama, South Carolina and Nevada.
The consequences of distracted driving can be disastrous. As a licensed driver, you have the responsibility of keeping yourself safe as well as other drivers sharing the road. Since we cannot anticipate the actions of other drivers, we must be even more cautious of our behavior while behind the wheel.