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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.

 

 


Longview woman in grave condition after driver runs stop sign at U.S. 45 and I-57

A 77-year-old woman from Longview is in grave condition at an area hospital after a collision last week. Authorities say that the accident occurred at 10:48 a.m. on March 21st when her Lincoln MKZ was struck by an 81-year-old man in a Toyota Echo. The man was reportedly heading southbound on the interstate when he exited prematurely and attempted to get back on the highway by crossing I-45. He reportedly failed to observe the stop sign and clipped the front bumper of the victim’s vehicle.

The Longview woman was transported to a local hospital with a broken neck and two broken arms. The man refused treatment at the scene but was reportedly transported to a hospital for evaluation. He was ticketed for failure to observe a stop sign.

Authorities say that both individuals were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident.

The full story is available at The News-Gazette. We will also update this story with any additional information.


Champaign family involved in deadly crash on I-30 in Texas

A Champaign County family was involved in a deadly collision on I-30 in Mount Pleasant, Texas. A 42-year-old father of three from Savoy was driving a 2011 Toyota Sienna when the five-vehicle accident occurred. He was airlifted to a nearby trauma center for treatment. His wife (42), two sons (6 and 9), and daughter (2) were pronounced dead at the scene. A 64-year-old truck driver from Tennessee was also pronounced dead at the scene. A second semi-truck and two other vehicles were also involved, though the drivers and passenger in the other vehicles reportedly suffered only minor injuries.

Authorities do not know the exact cause of this five-vehicle wreck at this time, but additional information can be found on Illinois Homepage. We will update this story with any new developments.


One killed, two injured in crash near Foosland

A 29-year old man from Foosland was killed in a crash in Northwestern Champaign County on Thursday night. Authorities say that a driver’s failure to stop at an intersection led to the collision, which killed one and injured two others. Illinois State Police say that the accident occurred at the intersection of County Road 3200 N. and Illinois 47.

The 22-year-old driver of the other vehicle was reportedly trying to pass a third vehicle in the intersection when he struck the victim’s car. The driver and another 22-year-old passenger were taken to Gibson Area Hospital for treatment of their injuries. The driver was also issued tickets for disobeying a no-passing zone, improper passing at an intersection, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

To learn more, read the full News-Gazette story and check back here for regular updates.