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National Bike Month: Illinois Bike Laws

May is National Bike Month! This month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and is celebrated all over the United States. Biking has many benefits such as being a great way to get exercise, a way to eliminate your carbon copy, and a way to allow you to save money on your daily commute. With that said, bicyclists are subjected to many dangers while on the road. Often times, other drivers fail to see them, thus not leaving them ample space to manoeuver. Fortunately, the State of Illinois has many laws in place to protect cyclists and keep them safe on roadways. Listed below are some of the laws in place in Illinois that are designed to keep cyclists safe.

Safe Passing Laws

  • Illinois requires that motor vehicle drivers that decide to pass a bicycle going the same direction must leave a safe distance, not less than three feet, between the vehicle and the bicyclist. They must maintain the distance until they have safely passed the bicycle.

Treatment as a Vehicle

  • In our state, bicycles are not vehicles according to the statute that defines vehicles. However, an individual riding a bicycle is subjected to all the rights and duties that a motor vehicle driver has. That means that bicyclists must follow the same rules that drivers do, and drivers must treat bicyclists the same way they would treat drivers of other motor vehicles.

Dooring Law

  • Under Illinois Law, no individual is able to open the door of a vehicle unless it is safe to do so, or when it can be done without interfering with a cyclist. Also, you cannot leave a door open that is in the way of moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary.

Helmet Law

  • Our state currently has no helmet law. It is legal for all individuals of any age to operate a bike without a helmet. With that said, it is a good idea to wear a helmet, particularly if you have little experience riding a bike, as it will help avoid injuries to the head if a crash occurs.

The following laws are all in place to minimize the risk that comes with riding a bike and also to reduce conflicts between bikes and vehicles. Whether you are driving a car or riding a bike, it is imperative to follow the laws in our state in order to keep yourself and others safe. Failure to do so can result in a ticket, injuries, or fatalities.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury as the result of a bicycle accident, you don’t have to suffer alone.  The compassionate bicycle accident attorneys at Spiros Law P.C. understand the pain and suffering you are going through and will fight on your behalf against individuals who endanger our roads. Contact us at (217) 443-4343 to speak about your unique situation today.


Future Problem Solvers unveil road safety sign in Danville

Danville High School’s Future Problem Solvers unveiled their own road safety signs in Danville on Monday. The signs are in conjunction with their project, “Project Ignition: Be the Key to Road Safety”, and their goal is to improve safety on roadways in Danville. The double-sided sign, which is located at the intersection of North Vermilion and Liberty Lane, has one side dedicated to safety in regards to passing school buses and emergency vehicles, and the other side dedicated to pedestrian safety.

Originally, the campaign was focused around “the fatal four” which includes, not wearing a seatbelt, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and speeding. However, the group decided to expand the scope of the campaign to focus on more aspects of drivers safety, giving them the opportunity to educate the community on a wider variety of safety issues.

Senator Scott Bennett attended the dedication, and he was extremely impressed with the group’s dedication to improving safety on their roadways. He stated that he was pleased to see a group of kids putting in the time and effort to make a positive change in their community.

Speaking of time and effort, placing road safety signs around the community was not an easy task for the group. It took over 18 months of planning and fundraising to make their goal a reality, making Monday’s sign dedication extremely exciting for the group. With that said, the Future Problem Solvers are not stopping there. The group will be placing signs at five different locations around Danville with the help of some local sponsors. Spiros Law is proud to be one of those sponsors.

This is not the first time the group is getting attention for their safety efforts. In 2018, the DHS Future Problem Solvers were named State Champions for Project Ignition in the community problem-solving category. In this category, groups of up to 15 students per school follow a six-step problem-solving process to help solve real community challenges. The inspiration for Project Ignition came from the death of a Danville High School student, D’Nija Parker, who was killed in a car accident in October 2016. Since then, the group has implemented many different strategies to get the attention of drivers in Danville, and they hope their new road signs will not only catch the attention of drivers but prompt them to change their behavior behind the wheel.

Spiros Law is a proud sponsor of Project Ignition. To find out more about Project Ignition and the work they have done throughout Danville, check out their Facebook page, here.


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.


Spiros Law Partners with Adopt-A-Highway

At Spiros Law, we care about the communities we live in, and we always try to do what we can to improve them. As part of our efforts, we have partnered up with Adopt-A-Highway! The Illinois Adopt-A-Highway program is a part of IDOT and helps find groups who are willing to volunteer their time to pick up litter and trash on the side of the highway.  Adopt-A-Highway has more than 10,000 volunteers throughout Illinois and we are proud to be one of the many affiliates.  As a volunteer group, we have adopted Illinois Route 136, also known as Vermillion Road, from Boiling Springs Road to West Winter Avenue in Danville. This is a busy stretch of road consisting of both residential properties and many businesses including the Spiros Law office. As part of our annual volunteer commitment, our team is responsible for walking the route to pick up the trash and litter to help keep it clean and clear. Through our efforts, we hope to offer the people of Danville safer roadways and a cleaner community.

While it may not seem like it, littering can cause serious issues. Here are some common examples of how an act as simple as littering can negatively affect our environment:

Automobile Accidents:

Littering on a highway can cause a chain reaction and leading to an automobile accident.  When litter is thrown out of a moving car it could land on a windshield and block a driver’s vision, it could land on the roadway and cause a driver to swerve, or it could cause a flat tire. All of which are serious hazards.

Environmental Problems:

It is common knowledge that litter is damaging to our environment. Non-biodegradable products are some of the most common items found along the side of the road and unfortunately, they stay there indefinitely. Litter slows the growth of plants, pollutes the air, and degrades natural areas.

Lowers home values.

When communities have high amounts of litter, home and property values can be negatively affected.

Spoils water quality.

When litter is left on the ground for long periods of time, waste seeps into the soil leading to pollution of the water underneath.

There are some simple steps you can take to avoid and combat this issue. In order to avoid littering while driving, it is recommended that drivers keep a litter bag in their vehicle, to avoid the temptation of discarding the trash out of their car window. Beyond this, if you are wondering how you can get involved in combatting this issue, please consider adding your group of friends, neighbors, or coworkers to the list of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers. According to the IDOT website, almost anyone can take part in the program, such as:

  • Civic Groups
  • Clubs
  • Organizations
  • Sororities and fraternities
  • Churches
  • Coworkers
  • Neighbors
  • Friends and Families

The team at Spiros Law is extremely excited to be representing this program, allowing us to make a positive impact in the Danville community.

If you want to make a difference in your own community and want to register a group for the program, visit the IDOT website to fill out an Adopt-A-Highway request form.


Semi-trailer collision sends 2 to hospital

Donald C. Hendershot, 63, of Gosport, Ind., and Simone Certain, 67, of Newton, Iowa, were both sent to the hospital Tuesday morning with non-life threatening injuries after their semi-trailers collided.

The crash occurred around 5 AM during inclement weather conditions. Both were traveling eastbound on Interstate 74, near milepost 213 near Danville. Possibly due to the inclement weather, Henderson lost control of the rear trailer of his Kenworth tractor with double trailers. The trailer rolled into the left lane after striking the north guardrail.

Certain, driving a 2012 International semi, tried to avoid the collision by swerving left into the median, where he then struck a concrete bridge railing.

Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, and neither sustained life-threatening injuries. Neither were issued tickets.

To read more about this crash, keep checking our blog or check out the News-Gazette.


Semi-truck crash sends one to hospital

A twenty-four-year-old man from Herscher sustained life-threatening injuries after a semi-truck crash on Thursday morning. He was airlifted to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn for treatment following the collision.

The crash occurred around 5:30 a.m. A semi-truck, driven by a twenty-three-year-old man from Glenwood, was traveling south on Lehigh Road, and the other was traveling east on Illinois Route 115 in a 2014 Ford Transit minivan. The truck driver failed to stop at a stop sign and entered the state road, colliding with the Glenwood man’s minivan. The driver of the truck received a citation for failure to stop by Illinois State Police. He was not injured in the crash.

To read more about this accident, keep checking our blog or read more at the Daily Journal.


Half of the injuries and deaths during childbirth in America are preventable

The United States is the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in, according to a recent report by USA Today. American women suffer from injuries and death that, at least half the time, were preventable at a rate that is unmatched by countries like the United Kingdom. Annually, 50,000 American women are injured during childbirth. 700 American women a year die as a result.

This is despite an abundance of knowledge and resources that could save their lives. For nearly a decade, there has been information available detailing techniques, equipment, and standards that hospitals should follow to save mothers’ lives. These recommendations have been compiled into “safety bundles” by the Aim Program, which gives hospitals detailed instructions on how to best care for their patients.

Unfortunately, many hospitals nationwide choose not to follow these standards. Exact numbers are unavailable for a variety of reasons, with many hospitals refusing to disclose how many of their patients suffered complications after childbirth. It seems, however, that roughly half of the women who experience complications during childbirth do not receive the prompt and adequate care they need.

Many of these complications are a result of high blood pressure and internal bleeding, which lead to seizure, stroke, and eventually death. The Aim program specifies how to prevent and treat these issues, but when hospitals fail to follow the standards, tragedies happen. Many women are forced to endure emergency hysterectomies or die as a result of hospitals’ failure.

The lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. are available to help people who have suffered at the hands of negligent hospitals receive justice and compensation. If you were recently injured during childbirth and suspect your hospital is at fault, contact us right away at (217) 443-4343.


UPDATE: Food poisoning outbreak across Midwest linked to McDonald’s salads

An intestinal parasite, linked to McDonald’s salads, has caused a food poisoning outbreak across the Midwest. Symptoms of the parasite, called cyclospora, include vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps.

Presently, the Illinois Department of Public Health has been unable to identify the source of the parasite. To be cautious, McDonald’s has pulled salad from 3,000 locations, and possibly affected distribution centers.

Anyone who has consumed salad at a McDonald’s since May is advised to visit the doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms can take up to a week to appear, and may subside before reappearing. They can last for days or months.

Up to 90 people may have been affected by the parasite, though not all consumed salad. Since mid-May, 20 people have fallen ill in Illinois. An additional 15 people in Iowa became ill in late June, early July.

Did you get sick after eating at McDonald’s? If so, help is available to you. Contact the experienced food poisoning attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. at (217) 443-4343 to schedule a free confidential consultation today and get the qualified legal representation you deserve.

Updated 7/30 –

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 123 more people have become ill with cyclospora infection after consuming McDonald’s salad. This brings the total number of infected to 286, with 11 of those people having visited the hospital. Authorities expect these numbers to continue to rise, because symptoms can take up to six weeks to appear.

Restaurants in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have all been infected. In addition, people from Florida, Tennessee, Connecticut, Michigan, and Virginia have also been infected while traveling through the Midwest.

McDonald’s changed their salad distributor on July 20. However, officials have still not identified the cause of the outbreak, and are still in the process of tracing it through the supply chain. They are confident that it is not linked to the cyclospora outbreak in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan currently affected Del Monte vegetable trays.

For more information on this developing story, keep checking our blog or read more at CNN. Contact Spiros Law, P.C. at (217) 443-4343 if you have become sick after eating McDonald’s salad in the past few months.

Updated 8/3 –

After 109 additional cases of the cyclospora infection were reported Thursday, the total number of cases has grown to 395. This number is only expected to rise.

The FDA has been able to detect the presence of the parasite in an unused bag of Fresh Express salad mix that McDonald’s received, though it was past its expiration date at the time of testing. They are still in the process of tracing the source of the infected ingredients. Fresh Express has recalled the salad mix, which was also sold in grocery stores.

If you develop food poisoning or flu-like symptoms after consuming McDonald’s salad in any of the 15 affected states, seek medical attention and contact Spiros Law, P.C. for help. To read more, keep checking our blog or read more at CNN.


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.


Two killed in head-on collision on Illinois 1 near Hoopeston

A head-on collision on Illinois 1 near Hoopeston has left both drivers dead, according to a report from the Illinois State Police. The accident occurred at 6:21 p.m. on Wednesday near County Road 3870 N.  It is believed that a 59-year old woman heading southbound in a minivan was hit head-on by a 52-year old man driving a pickup truck. Authorities do not know the reason why, but the driver of the pickup truck crossed the center line into the southbound lane, causing the vehicles to collide. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the woman was airlifted to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, and the names of the victims have not been released. For more information on this story, read the News-Gazette report, or check back with us for more details.