Over $100 Million Recovered for our clients
in the last 10 years
Free Case Evaluation

Danville Resident Tragically Killed In Semi Collision

I-74 is a common daily commute for many in the Danville community. As we all know, a long stretch of this drive is under construction between Bloomington and Peoria. Traffic is slowed in tight quarters often times creating dangerous road conditions. That is exactly what happened earlier this week when a crash ended with a tragic death.

A fatal accident involving two semi-trucks occurred along the construction zone on I-74. This accident took place right by milepost 117 in Woodford County. A semi-trailer had broken down while traveling eastbound on I-74. A second semi, driven by Jeffery Bryant, 48, attempted to pass the broken down semi thinking they had enough room. However, Bryant’s semi struck the other, causing a fire, resulting in the fatality. Traffic lanes on both the westbound and eastbound sides were closed while emergency crews responded to the incident. Traffic was stopped for hours. Police authorities are still investigating what lead to the collision of the two semi-trucks.

Taking extra precautions when driving around semi-trucks is imperative. Leave plenty of space between you and the truck near you. Semi-trucks have air breaks which means the room that they leave is needed to slow the truck down. Never cut directly in front of a truck. When you do this, you are invading the space the driver needs to slow the truck successfully.

Never drive directly next to the trailer. It not only blocks your view of the road but you may be riding right in the trucks blind spot which can be dangerous for both parties involved. If the truck blows a tire, you may be directly in the line of fire if the tire were to exit the truck. If the tire were to hit your car it may cause you to lose control and run off the road.

Never drive directly behind a truck. Many do not realize, but when you do this the driver cannot see you. It not only blocks your entire view of the road, but it makes the chances of running into the rear end of the trailer much greater.

Most importantly, pay extra attention. There are numerous distractions that we can fall victim too while driving. It is imperative to eliminate distractions such as cellphones, loud music, other passengers, or drowsiness. Make sure you are alert and properly prepared to drive whenever you get behind the wheel of an automobile.

In order to stay as safe as possible around trucks, we can keep all of these things in mind but unfortunately, it is impossible to control the actions of others. One small move can lead to a disastrous situation. If you or a loved one have been put in harms’ way because of the reckless actions of a semi-truck driver call a Spiros Law attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your suffering, medical bills, or lost wages. Let our attorneys fight for the justice you deserve. If you have been involved in a crash and have questions about your situation, call our office at (217) 443-4343 for a free consultation.


July Brings New Changes to Distracted Driving Penalty

July 1st marks the inauguration of new distracted driving enforcements. Illinois state representatives and law enforcement officials are tightening the reigns on the citations given when a driver is in violation of distracted driving laws. Using a cellphone while driving is prohibited in the state of Illinois however, just a warning will no longer be issued on the first offense. A moving violation will be given along with a fine of $75. For every offense following the fine will increase as follows, 2nd offense $100, 3rd offense $125, and $150 for all future offenses. This law is not only limited to cellphones but will apply to all electronic communication devices. These new rules are being put into place to help us prevent fatal automobile collisions by eliminating distractions and focusing on the road at all times.

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving. With about 1,000 reported accidents, 9 people die each day from distracted drivers.

What are the types of distracted driving?

There are three main types. Visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual, includes anything that could cause you to take your eyes off of the road. Manual, meaning anything that would cause you to take your hands off the steering wheel. Cognitive, anything that would cause your mind to drift. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. When you send or read a text message you are taking your eyes off the road for about five seconds. This is the same amount of time it takes to cover the length of a football field if you are traveling at 55 MPH. It is important to assume responsibility for our actions and implement preventative measures into our daily routines that can help protect ourselves and others. Installing hands-free devices or placing your cellphone out of arms reach will both reduce distractions and make the roads safer for everyone.

Who is the most at risk?

Teenage drivers under the age of twenty are the most at risk. This age group has the highest percentage of distraction-related fatal collisions.  In a study, 42% of high school drivers, who had reported driving in the past 30 days, reported sending a text or email while driving. Those who have reported texting while driving are more likely to drive without wearing a seatbelt, more likely to ride with a driver who has been drinking, and more likely to drink and drive. These are the types of situations these new laws aim to abolish. In the past year, Illinois law enforcement officials issued 15,150 distracted driving violations.

Distracted driving is a dangerous activity and should not be taken light-heartedly. We must hold ourselves accountable but unfortunately, we cannot always be responsible for the actions of others. If you or a loved one have fallen victim to an accident due to distracted driving you may be eligible for compensation from the responsible party to help with your injuries, property damages, and emotional and physical suffering. Call a Spiros Law attorney in our Danville office at (217) 443-4343 to explore your options.


National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) has named the month of April National Distracted Driving Awareness month, focusing on distracted driving awareness. As we know, distracted driving is a big issue today as individuals are using technology now more than ever. In fact, in 2016, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In order to bring awareness to the topic, the NSC has started the #JustDrive campaign, demanding that drivers put down all of their distractions, and just drive.

The State of Illinois is putting a focus on a particular law this month called “Scott’s Law”. The law mandates that when approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, drivers are to proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way by making a lane change. If a lane change is impossible, drivers must reduce the speed of the vehicle significantly and maintain a safe speed.

Unfortunately, because the amount of distracted drivers on the road has increased, many drivers are too distracted to notice emergency vehicles on the side of the road. As a result, 19 state troopers throughout the United States have been hit during traffic stops already this year. This number includes four troopers in Illinois, all of which were killed as a result of being struck.

Illinois State Police Officers are not taking these violations lightly, as nearly 1,000 tickets have been given to drivers not following Scott’s Law from the middle of March to the beginning of April. In comparison, during this time last year, only 55 tickets were given out during the same time period. Fines are not being taken lightly either, as violating Scott’s Law can currently result in a fine of up to $10,000, and that fine may be even more expensive in the near future. A second House Bill, sponsored by Rep. John Cabello would make jail time a possibility for first-time violators, even if no one was harmed. Drivers who cause death would have their license revoked permanently.

If you are driving on the interstate and see a vehicle on the shoulder of the road, slow down, signal, and move over. It is also important to note that you should make room for other drivers to move over if possible. Scott’s Law is not an option, it is mandatory. When driving on the interstate, rid yourself of distractions, pay attention, and make space for vehicles that are pulled over on the side of the road. If you fail to do so, you could be subjected to hefty fines, or even worse, be responsible for taking an individuals life.

If you or a loved one has been struck by a vehicle driven by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation to assist you with your physical injuries, property damage, and emotional suffering. The experienced attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. have extensive knowledge and drive and will work diligently to get you the highest compensation possible for your case. Contact the pedestrian accident attorneys of Spiros Law at (217) 328-2828 to discuss your situation today.


How Can We Improve Road Safety?

Car accidents occur every day throughout the United States. Unfortunately, these accidents claim hundreds of Americans lives each year. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in the state of Illinois there were 964 fatal accidents and 1,050 fatalities throughout 2018. The good news, however, is that this number decreased by 39 from 2017, and this is the first time the number has decreased since 2014. Vermilion County specifically had 10 fatalities, which was 6 fewer than the previous year. We have definitely made progress but we still have a ways to go.

As we start a new year, we must make it a goal to make the roadways a safer place for drivers and passengers across the United States. As drivers, it is our responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe on the roads. The following are some of the most important things to remember while driving.

  • Keep your attention on driving the entire time you are behind the wheel. No distractions.
  • Drive defensively; Be aware of what other drivers next to you are doing, and expect the unexpected.
  • ALWAYS wear your seatbelt and drive sober and drug-free.
  • Follow the rules and regulations of the road by obaying the speed limit and putting your phone away while driving.

In order to ensure that the roadways in Illinois will be safer this year, the state is implementing new transportation-related laws that will take place in 2019. The following laws will be put in place throughout 2019.

  • Tougher texting and driving penalties: Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous things that a driver can do, yet many drivers continue to do it. In order to combat this, drivers that are caught texting will be issued a moving violation that will go on their record. If a driver has three moving violations in a 12-month period, their license will be suspended. This law begins on July 1, 2019.
  • Children under two must ride rear-facing: Parents will now be required to follow this rule, or else they will be fined anywhere from $75 to $200 dollars. Children more than 40 pounds are exempt.
  • “Dutch Reach” method is now part of the curriculum: “The Dutch Reach” method will be added to Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual. This method requires drivers to open their doors with their hand farthest from the door when parallel parking. It is believed that this method reminds drivers to look for cyclists before opening their door, helping them avoid a “dooring” crash.

Too many fatal accidents occur due to avoidable instances. In order to make our roadways safe, all drivers on the road must stay focused, cautious, and informed. Making sure you are paying attention to your own driving while also paying attention to the actions of other drivers around you is key in avoiding accidents. With that said, we can only control our own actions, and at times, accidents are completely unavoidable. Innocent victims should not have to suffer because of the irresponsible behaviors of others. If you or a loved one have been a victim in a car accident, the Danville auto accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your case today.


Head-on Collision on Illinois 1 near Bismarck

A head-on collision occurred on Illinois 1, south of Vermilion County Road 2820 N, which is about a mile northwest of Bismark, at 7:45 a.m. on Friday morning. One person was killed, and a second was injured. A 47-year-old man was headed south when his car veered into the northbound lane, hitting another car head-on. His car then flipped and caught on fire. The driver of this vehicle died at the scene. The Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden, who performed an autopsy Saturday, identified the driver as James D. Callahan, 47, of Hoopeston. 

The northbound vehicle that was struck came to a stop in the middle of the road. The driver of the vehicle, a 29-year-old woman, was taken to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. She was wearing a seatbelt. There has been no more information released about the driver of this vehicle. 

The accident caused Route 1 to be closed for several hours on Friday. The Illinois State Police and the Vermillion County Coroner’s office are investigating the accident. 

When car accidents like this one occur, it can be extremely devastating for all parties involved. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident as a result of someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to compensation in order to help you deal with your injuries, property damages, emotional and/or physical suffering. The dedicated team of attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. will fight hard on your behalf in order to get you the compensation you deserve while providing you peace-of-mind during your difficult time. 

Contact the car accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. at (217) 443-4343 to speak about your unique situation today. 


National Teen Driver Safety Week

October 21-27 is the 11th annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTSDW). This week is dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions to prevent teen injuries and deaths on the road. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (15 to 18 years) in the US, and in 2015, 1,972 teen drivers were involved in fatal traffic crashes. National Teen Driver Safety Week is a week that parents are encouraged to have conversations with their teens about safety tips when behind the wheel, helping them to avoid becoming another statistic. Teens look at receiving their license as a step toward freedom, but it is important that you provide rules and regulations for them, because teen drivers are not ready to have the same level of responsibility behind the wheel as adults. Some of the most important issues to address are alcohol use, inconsistent or no seatbelt use, distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, etc.

One local group, The Future Problem Solvers Club at Danville High School, is doing a great job promoting messages to keep teens safe behind the wheel. Future Problem Solvers is an international competition program that teaches students how to use a problem-solving method that allows them to identify a local topic of concern, and then work to develop a plan of action to improve the situation. Their most recent project was called “Project Ignition”, which is focused on safe driving in the community. They are working hard researching different ways to improve road safety.

Project Ignition wants to bring attention to weather and road conditions, issues beyond the driver’s control, which are a major cause of road accidents. They recognize that issues such as texting, alcohol, and not wearing a seatbelt are huge factors in causing road accidents, but wanted to bring light to the issues that are often overlooked. To do this, the team launched their own driving safety campaign, providing tips and awareness for teen drivers all over the area.

An issue they came across during their research was Interstate 74 between the Champaign and Vermillion county lines. This stretch of interstate is surrounded by open fields, causing wind speeds to increase significantly, leading to more accidents. When drivers make contact with these high winds, they can easily lose control of their vehicles, leading to accidents. In fact, they found that this part of the interstate has more accidents and fatalities than any other part. The team is now working with city and road officials to put warning signs along this part of the interstate, in the hopes of warning drivers along this stretch of I-74. The team runs under the motto, “We are ALL the KEY to road safety”, and that is an important motto for us drivers to be reminded of. To find out more about Project Ignition, check out their Facebook page. 

Your role in keeping your teens informed about the rules of the road is vital. The following tips will allow you to help your teen avoid any accidents on the road.

  • Invest in a safe driving course.
  • Talk to them about ALL the risks that come with driving.
  • Set realistic boundaries, and stick to them.
  • Rid of any common distractions in the teen’s vehicle.
  • Most importantly, practice what you preach.

Remember to stay informed, and keep your teen drivers informed to avoid any future tragedies on the road.


2-Vehicle Crash Leaves One Dead

A 2-vehicle crash at an intersection 4 miles east of Flatville left Lorin A. Schluter, 59, of Armstrong dead on the afternoon of Saturday, July 7th. The intersection is located at County Road 2500 N and 2500 E in eastern Champaign County.

Schluter was driving a Pontiac Grand Prix when he failed to stop at a stop sign. When he entered the intersection, a Dodge Ram pickup truck driving north crashed into him on the driver’s side. The pickup truck did not have a stop sign.

The cars ended up in a cornfield on the northwest corner of the intersection. Authorities pronounced Schluter dead at the scene. The driver and passenger of the pickup truck sustained non-life threatening injuries.

This accident is still being investigated. To learn more, keep checking our blog, or read more at the News-Gazette.


Motorcycle collides with car in Champaign

An ambulance was called for two people involved in a collision between a motorcycle and a car on the afternoon of June 4. The crash occurred at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Washington Street in west Champaign. No more information was available, nor has the status of any of the victims been released.

To read more about this story, visit The News-Gazette, and make sure to check back on our blog for any updates or new developments.


Two-vehicle crash on U.S. 45 kills one, injures two others

A two-vehicle crash on U.S. 45 this morning resulted in the death of a Ludlow man and injuries to two other people. Authorities say the accident occurred about a mile and a half north of Rantoul this morning. Police, EMS, and fire crews were called to the scene at 6:16 a.m. The driver of one vehicle was pronounced dead, while the two men in the other vehicle were transported to local hospitals for treatment. At this time, there is no word on the seriousness of their injuries.

Check back on our blog for any developments or updates, and visit The News-Gazette site for more details.


Three people sent to hospital after three-vehicle collision on I-74

A three-vehicle collision on I-74 at 7:43 a.m. on Tuesday sent three people to Carle Foundation Hospital for medical attention. The accident occurred on I-74 between St. Joseph and Urbana, when a 54-year-old woman failed to slow down for traffic ahead of a work zone and collided with two vehicles. The woman’s Jeep Cherokee first struck a Toyota Camry driven by a 46-year-old man and then continued on to hit a Chevy Equinox driven by a 55-year-old woman. The impact of the collisions sent the Camry into the wire barrier in the median and sent the Equinox into a ditch on the right-hand shoulder.

Authorities report that all three individuals were, fortunately, wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. The woman driving the Jeep Cherokee was cited for driving an uninsured vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.

For more details on this story, visit The News-Gazette website, or check back on our blog for updates.