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Central Illinois Law Blog

Some large cars fail to achieve safety honors

Some large cars popular among Illinois drivers have received accolades for their high levels of safety, but other high-profile models did not. The Lincoln Continental, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Toyota Avalon sedans were praised with the Top Safety Pick Plus label by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the auto safety arm of the car insurance industry.

However, the Tesla Model S, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala did not receive the designation noting top marks in safety for drivers. The IIHS carries out crash tests on consumer vehicles, including cars, trucks and SUVs, to determine how they would fare in a real car crash.

Suffering an ankle injury after a slip-and-fall accident

If an Illinois business fails to properly maintain its property or minimize hazards that may be found on the property, a person who injuries an ankle while visiting the premises could hold the business financially responsible. Because ankle injuries can be severe, the injured person could need extensive medical treatment.

The ankle joint is comprised of a number of different components that all work together to provide stability and mobility. The three bones in the ankle include the heel, called the talus, and the fibula and tibia, the two bones that make up the lower leg. Tendons and ligaments keep the ankle stable and allows the joint to flex and move. The synovium, or the joint capsule, cushions the bones to prevent damage while the joint is in motion.

Liability in amusement park accidents

People who enjoy going to Illinois amusement parks may wonder who is liable when an accident occurs. In some cases, the manufacturer may share responsibility with the park owners and operators.

This was the case in an accident that happened at a park in Kansas in 2016. A 10-year-old boy was killed on a water ride. Reportedly, the settlement was $20 million although the exact amount was undisclosed. The manufacturer of the ride's rafts and the park's owners and operators were all involved in the settlement.

Minivans, SUVs, pickups among safer vehicles for drivers

Illinois drivers of minivans, SUVs and pickups may be less likely to die in a traffic fatality than drivers of passenger cars according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study looked at data for the model years 2011 to 2014 and at the make and models involved in the most serious accidents although researchers noted that the study did have limitations. It only considered vehicles that had at least 100,000 registered vehicle years and did not take passenger deaths into account.

Drivers died in passenger cars at a rate of 39 per million registered vehicles. For minivans, the number was 19 while for SUVs it was 21, and for pickups it was 26. However, not all pickups were equally safe, and some, such as the Nissan Titan Crew Cab short bed 4WD, scored poorly at 73. A Nissan safety spokesman said the company would review the data and make an effort to improve safety. Toyota pickup trucks and Ford light trucks generally did well.

Study shows underride guards on trailers could save lives

Mounting tractor-trailer trucks with side underride guards could save lives in Illinois and nationwide, according to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study marks the first time the agency has analyzed the effectiveness of side underride guards on trailers.

In the spring, IIHS conducted tests comparing the protective capabilities of a side underride protection device with that of a fiberglass side skirt. The AngelWing device, manufactured by Airflow Deflector Inc., is designed to prevent motor vehicles from sliding beneath tractor-trailers in a crash. The fiberglass side skirt is only intended to boost aerodynamics. To test each device, the agency crashed a midsize car into the side of a 53-foot trailer at 35 mph. The first test showed that the AngelWing device bent from the force of the collision but prevented the car from sliding beneath the trailer. In the second test, the fiberglass side skirt allowed the car to smash under the trailer, shearing off part of the roof. IIHS said the second crash would likely have been fatal.

What to do and not to do at your first DUI stop

When the police pull you over for any reason, it is in your best interest to be respectful and cooperative to prevent making the situation turn south. However, it is also in your best interest to know when you have to do as an officer asks and when you have no legal duty to obey.

One of the most important times to know the difference is when you are at a DUI stop for the first time. The police will likely ask you to take one or more tests. What you agree to do will affect what happens next, so be aware of how to react to avoid incriminating yourself.

1 dead in interstate car crash

On April 30, a car accident that took place on an Illinois highway left one person dead and several others with serious injuries. The crash took place on Interstate 94 and Buckley Road at about 11:49 a.m. It caused the eastbound lanes to be closed for about three hours.

The 62-year-old female driver of a 2007 Dodge allegedly lost control of her vehicle and struck a 2005 Honda Pilot, which was being driven by a 59-year-old Kenosha man. This collision caused a chain reaction accident that ultimately involved the 2007 Dodge, a 2015 Dodge Caravan, the 2005 Honda, a Mercedes, a Kenworth hauling a trailer and another 2007 Honda.

Dog attacks on postal workers increasing

Illinois residents may be interested to learn that dog attacks involving postal workers are on the rise. According to reports, the number of dog attacks on postal workers was up to 6,755 in 2016, an increase of 206 attacks from the previous year. In fact, the number of dog attacks involving postal workers reached the highest in 30 years.

It is estimated that, every year, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs across the nation. Postal workers may be more at risk of suffering dog attacks. Although only approximately 2 percent of postal workers have been bitten by dogs, a 17-year veteran worker noted that every worker had stories of experiences with dogs, whether that means having to outrun or cajole a territorial animal.

Driving defensively to prevent distracted driving crashes

Although many Illinois drivers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, some still actively use their smartphones while they are operating their vehicles. In fact, there are studies available that suggest that distracted driving may be more dangerous than drunk driving. As such, it is important that drivers do everything they can to protect themselves and others against distracted driving.

The founder of has been working diligently to change the way drivers think about distracted driving. He argued that drivers should anticipate the potential mistakes that other drivers may make. This includes staying alert when traveling through intersections even with a green light. Drivers should anticipate vehicles running red lights. They should also anticipate pedestrians who may be looking at their phones to step into the roadway even when they do not have the right of way. By anticipating these actions, drivers can be prepared to prevent a potential accident.

Skateboarders and premises liability

Residential and commercial property owners in Illinois and elsewhere around the country generally get annoyed when skateboarders show up unannounced and uninvited in their spaces, and for good reason. Premises liability is a legal concept that holds both private homeowners and public business operators responsible for any injuries that occur on their property, especially if they were preventable.

Although some people skateboard as a way of getting around, there are many who are attracted to the extreme and dangerous side of the activity and always looking for the next obstacle to conquer. Skateboarders attempting new tricks have damaged a lot of structures in Martinsville, Virginia, including benches, cement structures and handrails. The city has implemented an ordinance banning anyone who is at least 14 years old from skateboarding on sidewalks.

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