On June 18, a car driven by a 43-year-old woman made an illegal turn. As a result of that turn, a 30-year-old motorcyclist was killed. The driver of the car got a ticket. Motorcyclists are all too frequently viewed in a negative light by other motorists. The truth is that many motorcycle accidents are the result of car and truck drivers acting negligently. The increase in distracted driving behaviors may be what is behind an increase in fatal motorcycle accidents seen in recent years throughout Illinois.
Drive for any length of time and you are bound to see a vehicle fly through a red light or go past a stop sign without slowing down. Countless car accidents are the result of driver error where someone behind the wheel failed to notice an impending collision until it was too late. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is testing a new type of technology it believes can greatly reduce the number of accidents: vehicle to vehicle communications. The equipment is promising enough that the National Transportation Safety Board has decided to recommend that all new vehicles be equipped with the technology.
Getting behind the wheel always involves an element of risk. That risk may be at its greatest in the month of July. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July saw the most fatal traffic accidents of any month from 2005 to 2011. July was the most deadly month in the season in which most fatal car accidents occur, from July through September. These three months saw 27 percent of the fatal car accidents that occurred during those years. While that is not wildly disproportional to other months, it does demonstrate that a rise in motor vehicle fatalities may coincide with the months in which teen drivers spend more time on the roads.
Independence Day weekend saw a number of events sponsored by the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police intended to help keep children safe. One of the aspects of the Kids Identification and Safety Seat events was an effort to improve child safety seat use among Illinois families. The events provided demonstrations and safety seat checks to help parents correctly install the important safety devices. In a car accident, a child's life may be saved by a properly installed safety seat.
A federal investigation into the death of an Illinois police officer concluded that the driver of the semi-truck that hit him had fallen asleep. The latest measure taken by the U.S. Department of Transportation to reduce drowsy driving truck accidents takes effect this week, as long-haul truck drivers are seeing their hours of service limits changed. The new guidelines are still being disputed by the trucking industry which claims that the rules will have a minimal impact on safety while making it difficult for truckers to make a living. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains that they are a reasonable measure in combating driver fatigue.