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The Dangers of Teenage Driving and How to Protect ThemThe summer is a time of year when many teens are learning how to drive and getting their driver’s license. While teens may be excited by this life development, parents have reason to be concerned about their safety. Drivers ages 16 to 19 are more likely to be in a vehicle accident than any other age group in the U.S. In 2016, more than 2,400 teens in the U.S. were killed in motor vehicle accidents and almost 300,000 were treated for personal injuries. As a parent, you need to be aware of the dangers that teenage drivers face and how you can protect them.

Dangers

The main reason that teenage drivers are involved in more accidents is the most obvious reason: they lack driving experience. Beyond the technical aspects of operating a vehicle, learning to drive is about making quick judgment calls. Teen drivers are more likely to:

  • Drive at speeds that are unsafe for the conditions;
  • Misjudge how they need to react to a hazard;
  • Become distracted by digital devices or friends in the vehicle; and
  • Forget to wear their seatbelts.

Teens may also make poor decisions before they start driving, such as drinking alcohol. Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. A teen driver with any amount of alcohol in their system is breaking the law. Even if a teen’s blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit for an adult, they may not be able to drive safely with that level of intoxication.

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Dangers for Sober Drivers on St. Patrick's DayNo U.S. holiday is more associated with drinking than St. Patrick’s Day. Falling on a Saturday this year will only increase the number of people out celebrating. Lots of intoxicated people on the road means that there will be more instances of drunk driving. Local police are well aware of this and will be watching for people driving under the influence of alcohol. However, those who chose to stay sober face their own dangers. Sober drivers on St. Patrick’s Day must watch for intoxicated drivers and an increased police presence.

Personal Safety

You may celebrate the holiday responsibly by making sure you are not impaired before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, you should assume that someone else on the road is not being responsible. Unfortunately, drunk drivers often involve innocent drivers in their accidents, possibly causing serious injuries or death. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself and those who have chosen to drink too much:

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McHenry County car crash attorneys, driver safety, illinois personal injury, car accident, inclement weatherA central and fundamental principle of Illinois personal injury law is this: if a person acts in a manner at odds with the manner in which an objective and reasonably careful person would have acted under the same circumstances, and in so doing the person causes injuries to another, the person may be held responsible for the injury victim's expenses and losses. What the “objective, reasonably-careful” person would have done in any given situation is always fact-dependent. In other words, what a reasonable person would have done while driving on a clear, summer day is not necessarily what the same person would have done in icy, slippery conditions.

Reasonable Steps for Remaining Safe in Winter Driving Conditions

Drivers need to take additional steps in order to remain safe while driving during ice storms and winter storms. Failing to take these steps is not only dangerous, but they can result in legal liability for the injuries and losses of another injured by the failure to take these reasonable and appropriate steps:

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Winter Motorcycle Safety Tips, car accident, driving saftey, personal injury, Crystal Lake motorcycle accident lawyersSome may consider motorcycling to be a warm-weather pursuit while other Illinois riders are committed to riding their motorcycles year-round. Motorcycling during any season carries certain risks and dangers, but these risks and dangers are even more pronounced during the winter months. While a motorcyclist may not be able to completely eliminate all the hazards associated with motorcycling during the winter, being proactive and taking precautionary measures can help reduce the chance of a serious motorcycle injury during this time of year:

  • Make sure your tires have sufficient tread and be aware of the tires' temperature. As a tire cools, it can also lose traction. Riding can increase the tire temperature, but slowing down can quickly cause this heat to dissipate. Consider accelerating swiftly but safely from a stop to help build up heat in your tires. Not only this but be mindful of the amount of tread remaining on your tires and replace your tires if needed. Do not attempt to ride when there is snow, water, or ice if you do not have enough tread.
  • Avoid ice and salt – and salt trucks. When snow and ice begin to accumulate on the road, riding a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous. Motorcyclists should, of course, exercise extreme caution when there is ice on the roadway (especially black ice, which can appear as a “sheen” on the street). However, the salt left by salt trucks can be just as slippery for motorcycles as ice. Not only this, but these salt trucks can also cause cracks and potholes to develop in roadways, which can also be dangerous for inattentive motorcyclists.
  • Be sure to increase your visibility and the amount of space between you and other motorists. While this advice applies to all motorists on the road during winter weather, it is especially applicable to motorcyclists as it is easy for others on the roadway to fail to see motorcyclists. Wearing outer layers that are of a highly-visible color and/or have reflective material sewn onto them. Furthermore, motorcyclists should allow for plenty of space between them and other vehicles and drive defensively.

These tips will not only help you avoid a motorcycle mishap this winter, but can also help you preserve your ability to obtain full and fair compensation in the event you are injured in a motorcycle crash caused by another driver this season. Your compensation award may be reduced if a judge or jury finds that your failure to take simple and common-sense precautionary measures played a role in your injury accident.

If you or a loved one are injured in a motorcycle crash, be certain to contact the passionate Crystal Lake motorcycle accident lawyers at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC as soon as possible after your crash. We can determine what legal rights to compensation you may have and will help you take action against negligent motorists who caused you harm. Contact our office today and let us help you begin the recovery process.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

The Dangers Of Road DebrisFor economic reasons or convenience, some people don't always pay moving companies or other professionals to move cargo safely. Sometimes it is easier and cheaper to load things up that need to be moved in the back of or on top of a car than it is to hire professionals. Unfortunately, when people do this, they are not always careful with ensuring that the cargo is secured to the car. Unsecured cargo can easily fall into the path of oncoming vehicles, creating road debris which can cause serious accidents and injuries to drivers and passengers in these vehicles.

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that over a three-year period, road debris was responsible for over 200,000 accidents and 500 deaths throughout the country. These numbers are especially alarming because the accidents caused by fallen road debris are preventable if people would properly ensure that the cargo they are transporting is secured. In Illinois, ferrying unsecured or improperly secured cargo can result in criminal charges and even jail time.

When the debris causing the accident can be traced to a particular company or person, then a person who suffers property damage or personal injury can seek compensation from that company or person. However, in some cases, the road debris causing the accident is already on the road, having been dropped long before the victim comes across it. In these cases, it is more difficult for the victim to receive compensation. Although the state bears some responsibility to ensure the roads are safe and free from dangerous debris, seeking compensation from the state for injury or damage caused by road debris can be difficult.

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