Illinois summers offer wonderful opportunities for motorcyclists to get out and enjoy the roads. Unfortunately, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents has been increasing in recent years throughout the State. Fatal accidents have risen even as the overall number of accidents has decreased. There are several possible explanations for why this has occurred, but what is most important is finding ways to ensure that motorcyclists are given the protection they need on Illinois roads.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report last week that contained important safety items for people to bear in mind regarding swimming pools and spas. Young children, particularly those between the ages of 1 and 4, are more likely to die of drowning than any other form of unintentional death. Drowning statistics are even more disturbing for African-American and Hispanic children, according to CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. The report serves as a good safety reminder to those whose children will be exposed to pools, spas, or open water during the warm summer months. Drowning is an ever present danger for children. You must take steps to protect your children before allowing them access to these dangers.
The ban on handheld devices currently being considered by Governor Quinn may have unintended consequences. A recent study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggested that using voice commands typical of hands-free technology can be even more distracting than using a handheld device. The potential exists for an increase in distracted driving accidents as people turn to Bluetooth and built-in devices to complete tasks they would previously used a smart phone to accomplish. Such bans will also likely accelerate the move by many auto makers to add hands-free devices into the available options on new vehicles. They may encourage drivers to take their attention off the task of safely operating their vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 90 percent of Americans who go to social events where drinking occurs believe that a designated driver should be used. When done correctly, designated driver programs can help communities greatly reduce the number of drunk driving accidents and fatalities they experience. The programs also send an important message about planning ahead and ensuring that everyone gets home safe after drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, a recent study indicates that the programs may not be operating as they should.
Drowsy driving is not an easy problem to combat. Car accidents caused by drunk drivers are easy to spot. When a driver is impaired by drowsiness, the signs are not so clear. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a reminder concerning drowsy driving that is particularly apt this time of year. All those taking antihistamines (allergy drugs) are being reminded that many of these medications cause drowsiness. The FDA is asking people who take allergy medication to be cautious about when to get behind the wheel.
While the safety requirements for cars and trucks have been steadily becoming more stringent for years, motorcycle helmet laws have been repealed or defeated in several states. At the same time, car crash fatality rates have declined while motorcycle deaths have increased. A recent study has demonstrated that in the places where mandatory helmet laws have been repealed or weakened, serious motorcycle injuries have risen. The study analyzed the cost per injury claim all across the nation.