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Central Illinois Law Blog

What do you do when you are involved in a crash?

It seems typical to believe you are a better driver than your friends and family members. And you probably adhere to the posted speed limit, find a designated driver for your nights out on the town and maintain a safe following distance during inclement weather.

The problem is that no matter how careful you are behind the wheel, you cannot trust that other drivers focus their full attention on the road. So, in an instance where you are unable to avoid an accident, you may not know what to do.

DUI conviction penalties in Illinois

All drivers know they should not drive under the influence of a substance rendering them unfit for safe motor vehicle operation. Some drivers, feeling the existing law is restrictive, decide to remove the "should not drive" and replace it with "should not get caught driving."

Now that a "free spirit" has created a law more suited to her comfort zone, the person believes she can freely ingest the desired amount of a restricted substance and drive.

Have witnesses ready in car crash cases

Auto accident cases in Illinois tend to revolve around witness testimony, but it may not be the kind you expect. There are, in fact, two main types of witnesses you may find on the stand.

These two categories have very little in common except for the fact that they have the potential to be important to a judge's final decision on the facts. Understanding how these personal testimonies interact with hard evidence is one of the key requirements for building a persuasive case.

Illinois man charged with fifth DUI

A routine traffic stop on the night of April 6 led to a 43-year-old Illinois man being charged with drunk driving for the fifth time according to a report from the St. Charles Police Department. The St. Charles resident was being held at the Kane County Jail on charges of aggravated DUI and driving while under the influence of alcohol with a revoked license.

The man's fortunes took a turn for the worse when his 2006 Jeep was pulled over by a SCPD officer on East Main Street in St. Charles. The officer pulled the vehicle over because a computer check had allegedly indicated that the man was driving with a revoked driver's license. The officer claims that the man admitted that he consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. He was taken into custody after allegedly failing to properly complete a series of field sobriety tests.

Passengers in new trucks may be more prone to injury than drivers

Since 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been conducting crash tests on both the driver and passenger sides of vehicles. After a recent round of crash tests on 11 newer two-row pickup trucks, the IIHS came to an important conclusion that Illinois residents should know about. It turns out that the passengers of these pickups are more likely than the drivers to be injured or die in a collision.

The performance of the driver's side was rated as "good" on all but two of the pickups. Researchers thought the performance of the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Frontier was only "marginal." The results of the passenger sides was another story.

Staying safe as dog bites increase

As spring settles in, people begin to spend more time outside. This can increase the chances of individuals encountering dogs, which can inadvertently increase the chances of a dog bite.

If you or a loved one do receive serious injury from a dog bite, it may be possible to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. However, taking certain measures may help to prevent such an occurrence in the first place.

Distraction linked with higher risk for highway work zone crashes

Highway work zones have long been known to pose a challenge to road safety in Illinois and across the U.S. This is because the narrow lanes of a construction area are always much less safe. Researchers at the University of Missouri have found out that these zones are particularly dangerous for distracted drivers. These motorists are 29 times more likely to crash in work areas.

Many activities can be distracting to drivers -- smartphone use, adjusting the radio, applying makeup and even conversing with passengers. Previous studies focusing on work zone safety have relied on accident reports, which do not give detailed information on how a driver was behaving prior to the crash. However, this new study uses more naturalistic driving data.

Safety technology in trucks could save lives

Every year, many people are killed in crashes involving large trucks in Illinois and around the country. The size and weight differences between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles make trucking accidents much more dangerous than other types of collisions. Large truck crashes are likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities to occupants of other vehicles.

Despite the dangers of large trucks sharing the roads with smaller passenger vehicles, little has been done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make trucks safer. Forward collision avoidance technology and automatic emergency braking are both available, but the NHTSA has not mandated their installation in large trucks.

Why is 0.08 percent the legal limit for drunk driving?

Alcohol does not affect everyone in the same way. A lightweight woman will have a higher BAC than an overweight man even if all the other circumstances (such as type and quantity of drinks) are the same. Physical traits, from food intake to age to overall health, influence how fast and how much each person metabolizes alcohol.

With so many factors involved that make everyone have varying BAC levels, why is the legal limit 0.08 percent? What is so special about that number?

Statutes of limitation in personal injury cases

In the state of Illinois, a person has two years to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case. An individual has five years to file a lawsuit in the event that personal property was damaged. The statutes of limitation are designed to ensure that cases are processed in a timely manner and while evidence is still reliable. In most cases, the statute of limitations clock starts when an injury occurs.

However, it is possible that the clock won't start until after a person discovers the injury or should have done so. A statute of limitation could also toll for a variety of reasons such as a victim being mentally incapacitated. If an individual is younger than 18 when an injury occurs, the limitation clock may stop until he or she reaches age 18. A contract between two parties may also modify the statute of limitations to take legal action.

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