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How to avoid or mitigate the consequences of hydroplaning

Illinois drivers may know what hydroplaning is, but they may not have given it much thought. While slowing down and avoiding large puddles can usually prevent hydroplaning, there are other times when it's unavoidable. Drivers should especially be cautious during the first 10 minutes of rainfall when water and the oily residue on the road mix together to form a slippery surface. Afterwards, most but not all of the residue will be washed away.

Placing roundabouts at rural intersections saves lives

Rural highway intersections in Illinois and across the U.S. can be deadly. Many of these crossroads use stop signs or traffic lights to govern fast-moving vehicles, which can lead to a significant number of serious car accidents, injuries and fatalities. To mitigate the problem, some states are turning to roundabouts.

Distracted driving increases in the summer

According to research conducted by TrueMotion, drivers tend to be more distracted in the months of June, July and August. They reportedly spend 15 minutes per every hour driving looking at their phones, which is a 10 percent increase over the rest of the year. This conclusion was reached by looking at data from 20,000 drivers between January 2017 and May 2018. Distracted driving may occur on Illinois roads at higher rates during the summer because more people are driving.

Independence Day can feature deadly car crashes

While people in Illinois may associate the Fourth of July with fun, family and celebrations, the holiday can also be strongly associated with danger, particularly in the form of motor vehicle accidents. On Independence Day, record numbers of drivers take to the roads, crowding streets and highways and making accidents more likely to occur. In addition to the large number of cars on the road, those crashes can become more severe as a result of abundant alcohol. The holiday is considered to be America's deadliest weekend every year.

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.

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