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barrington car crash lawyerNow that the weather is getting warmer, the number of people on the road will rise, along with the number of traffic accidents and fatalities. According to information from the National Safety Council (NSC), the number of traffic fatalities that occur during the summer months is much higher than the number of traffic fatalities during the winter months. In April 2020, there were 2,520 reported traffic deaths, but May 2020 had 3,340 reported traffic deaths, which amounts to a nearly 36 percent increase in fatalities just one month apart. One of the best things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming one of those statistics is to practice safe driving techniques every time you are behind the wheel. Here are a couple of the most important safety tips to follow:

  • Always double-check your rearview mirrors. When the weather gets warmer, more people are going to be outside doing things. You should be sure to double-check both your side mirrors and rearview mirror before backing up or pulling out of your driveway to avoid colliding with any people.

  • Check your tires before hitting the road. If you are planning to travel or take a road trip, you should always check your tires before you go. Tires can take a beating during the winter months, so you should check to make sure that there is enough tread on your tires to help prevent skidding.

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Illinois drunk driver liability attorneyOn January 1, 2020, the use of marijuana became legal in Illinois, and adults who live in the state are now allowed to possess and use this drug for both medical and recreational purposes. For many people in the state, the legalization of marijuana has raised concerns about whether more people will be driving while under the influence of this drug. Just as drunk driving can greatly increase the risk of being involved in a car accident, the use of marijuana can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Those who have been involved in a collision with a driver who had been using marijuana will want to work with a personal injury attorney to determine their options for receiving financial compensation for their injuries.

The Dangers of Driving While High on Marijuana

Marijuana can have similar effects as alcohol for drivers. The “high” produced by THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, can cause impairments to a person’s coordination, and it will also lead to reduced reaction times. This will make it more difficult for a driver to respond to the movements of other vehicles, and it will also increase the likelihood that they will lose control of their vehicle. Marijuana use also affects a person’s judgment, making it more likely that they will engage in risky behavior that could endanger others.

In Illinois, a person may face charges of driving under the influence if a chemical test shows that they had at least five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of another bodily substance, such as saliva or urine. If a driver who was involved in a car accident is tested and found to be over the legal limit for THC, they may be liable for injuries suffered by others who were involved in the collision.

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Three Safety Tips for New Illinois Motorcycle RidersBeing behind the wheel for the first time can be an exhilarating yet nerve-wracking experience for young, new drivers. They never have the same instinct and ease as those with years of experience under their belt. The same goes for those who have recently obtained their motorcycle license. While you may have spent years driving a passenger vehicle, getting behind the handlebars of a motorcycle is a whole new ballgame. These small, unprotected vehicles can leave even the most experienced riders with serious or fatal injuries. If you have recently obtained your Illinois motorcycle license, heed the following precautions before taking your first ride:

  1. Get the Right Bike for You: There are a vast number of models that one can choose from when looking for their first motorcycle. While you may be leaning towards the larger, more advanced motorcycles, it is critical that you test out the bike before purchasing. When sitting, your feet should be able to easily rest flat on the ground and the handlebars should be right within reach. The larger bikes may be more alluring, but a motorcycle that is not the right fit for your body can lead you into dangerous waters. 
  2. Antilock Brakes Are Worth the Investment: Antilock brakes have proven to save lives time and time again. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycles with antilock brakes were 37 percent less likely to be in a fatal crash than those without them. These special brakes allow motorcycle riders to maintain steering control during an emergency stop, rather than having the brakes lock up. This will reduce a rider’s chances of skidding and crashing and is also useful in bad weather conditions.
  3. Take a Safety Course: In order to legally ride a motorcycle on Illinois roadways, a motorcycle license is required. However, this does not mean that a course is technically mandatory — it simply requires the passing of a written exam and driving test. Safety experts always suggest that new riders take a training course to learn basic riding skills and more advanced safety measures. The courses can sometimes provide other benefits, such as discounted insurance rates and a credit towards a new motorcycle depending on the manufacturer.

Call a Barrington Personal Injury Lawyer

No matter how many precautions or safety measures you have taken, you can never control the abilities of other drivers on the road. Accidents involving motorcycle riders are often caused by passenger vehicles, but due to their lack of protection, motorcycle riders suffer more serious consequences. The legal team at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, assists both motorcycle drivers and passengers to help them obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We have extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases and understand the unique issues involved. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our Illinois personal injury attorneys at 847-381-8700 to schedule your free consultation.

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Distracted Driving Is More Than Cell PhonesThousands of people in the U.S. die each year and many more are injured due to traffic crashes that involve distracted driving. If you were injured in a vehicle accident, proving that the other driver was distracted should establish their liability in a personal injury lawsuit. People often associate distracted driving with cell phone use because talking or texting while driving will take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. States such as Illinois issue traffic tickets to people caught using a handheld digital device while driving. However, the problem of distracted driving goes beyond cell phones.

Cognitive Distractions

All acts of distracted driving share a common trait: they divert your attention away from driving. Talking or texting on your phone is a good example of this because you are concentrating on a conversation you are having with someone. You could be similarly distracted if you are driving while you are:

  • Having a deep discussion with a passenger
  • Talking to someone on a hands-free device
  • Eating or drinking
  • Applying makeup or otherwise grooming yourself
  • Using a touch screen installed in your vehicle

Unlike using handheld digital devices, many of these activities are not traffic violations, even though they could still be dangerous. By reading the police report for your accident, you may see that the other driver admitted to being distracted right before the crash, which is an act of negligence.

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Compensation Options for Pedestrians Injured by HIt-and-Run DriversHit-and-run incidents involving vehicles and pedestrians are unfortunately common occurrences. A driver who strikes a pedestrian may be more prone to panic and flee the scene because they know that the pedestrian has likely suffered a severe or fatal injury. A pedestrian who has survived a hit-and-run incident often needs emergency medical treatments and lengthy rehabilitation. It is common for these incidents to cause permanent disabilities and emotional trauma. As an injury victim, you need compensation from the driver or your insurance provider.

Compensation from the Driver

The driver responsible for the hit-and-run could turn themselves in after they have calmed down and listened to their conscience. If the driver does not come forward, the police will try to identify the driver and bring them to justice. Your attorney can track the status of the case so that you are prepared to take civil action against the driver if they are found. To prove your injury claim, you can use evidence from the police report and witnesses, such as showing that:

  • The defendant was the driver of the vehicle that struck you;
  • The driver was at fault for the accident; and
  • The accident caused your injuries.

It is important to remember that decisions in criminal and civil cases are independent of each other. Illinois uses comparative fault when deciding whether to award damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Motorist usually must yield to pedestrians when there is a question about the right-of-way, but a pedestrian may share fault for the accident if they were behaving recklessly. The driver could be guilty of a hit-and-run charge but not liable for your injuries if you were more than half at fault for the accident.

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