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New technology may keep drivers away from their smartphones

Smartphones are increasing the number of distracted driving incidents on the roads of Illinois and throughout the rest of America. They have created such an epidemic that many companies are developing technology to stop the harm caused by phones. Whether drivers will use the new technology is another issue; however, a National Safety Council survey of 2,400 drivers in America found that over half would use message-blocking devices if they came pre-set in their cars.

Self-driving car accidents attract media attention

Illinois readers have probably seen news reports about a recent series of accidents involving autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. The most notorious incident involved an Uber self-driving car that struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. However, there have also been several crashes involving Tesla semi-autonomous vehicles that resulted in injuries.

Hands-free driving devices don't increase safety

Most drivers across Illinois and the United States know that talking or texting while driving is a dangerous practice. To decrease the risk of an accident, many drivers opt to use hands-free or wearable devices in order to text instead. Unfortunately, using these devices doesn't necessarily make using a phone safe.

Smartphone use not the most dangerous form of distracted driving

An Erie Insurance study looked at 172,000 traffic deaths over the past five years. What they discovered was that 1 out of every 10 deaths in Illinois and elsewhere were caused by distracted driving. Of those deaths, only 14 percent were related to phone use while in a car. The leading cause of distracted driving deaths was an inattentive driver. This is someone who was thinking about work, winning the lotto or something other than the situation on the road.

High risk groups for fatal drunk driving crashes

Although the legal consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants in Illinois can be serious, drunk driving remains a problem. Nationwide, about one-third of traffic fatalities arise from drunk driving accidents. Young people under age 24, people with a record of DUIs and motorcyclists represent the groups facing the greatest risk of dying in a drunk driving crash.

Illinois crash kills woman and injures her 6 children

Media outlets in Illinois have reported that an accident in Monroe County on the afternoon of Feb. 27 claimed the life of a 41-year-old woman and injured her six children. Reports indicate that the woman's SUV was struck by a dump truck as it crossed the intersection of Illinois State Road 3 and Veterans Parkway at approximately 12:30 p.m. While some accounts of the accident suggest that the 86-year-old driver of the dump truck may have run a red light, other reports state that his vehicle left skid marks on the roadway about 50 yards from the scene of the crash.

Study connects increased accident rate with 4/20 holiday

As recreational and medical marijuana use has been legalized in several states, Illinois motorists should be aware that using marijuana can have an impact on their ability to drive safely. In fact, a study showed that increased use of marijuana on April 20, the drug's self-proclaimed holiday, has been linked to a slight increase in the number of fatal car accidents.

Distractions may be to blame for rise in traffic deaths

Distracted driving, according to some experts, is behind the increase in traffic deaths that has been affecting Illinois and the rest of the U.S. Smartphone use is a major factor in distracted driving; a Consumer Reports survey of licensed drivers who own smartphones showed that 52 percent of them admitted to using their devices while behind the wheel. From texts and emails to music and internet, smartphones offer plenty to distract people.

How to discourage speeding, according to the NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board has shown that speeding is the cause behind the increase in traffic deaths in the U.S. It has released a report showing how 31 percent of traffic deaths between 2005 and 2014 involved speeding. This comes out to 112,580 deaths, slightly less than the number of DUI-related fatalities during that same period. Drivers in Illinois will want to know what the NTSB proposes as ways to discourage speeding.

How to know who is liable in an Uber accident

When a person gets into a car accident, it may be possible to hold the driver who caused the crash liable for damages. However, if an Uber driver causes the accident, there may be some question as to who is actually liable. In the event that an Illinois resident or anyone else gets into an accident caused by an Uber driver, the driver is generally the liable party.

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