Articles Tagged with auto accidents

Starting July 1st, Illinois is taking a tougher stance on motorists who use their cell phones while driving.

Drivers will no longer get a free pass for their first offense. melissa-mjoen-399641-unsplash-300x200Unlike the current law, where a first offense is a non-moving violation which does not affect your driving record, under the new law, you will get you a ticket for a moving violation if you are caught using a hand-held cell phone for any reason, even if it’s your first time. The ticket will have a fine of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $125 for a third, however, this does not include fees and costs which can make the total much higher. Receiving three tickets in a 12 month period will mean a license suspension.

According to the new law, you are only allowed to push one button to activate GPS or answer or make a call. So, unless you are using technology such as Bluetooth to access your phone hands-free, the following offenses will get you a ticket:

Many accidents on the road involve more than one car, especially accidents that occur in hazardous winter conditions or on the highway.  Multi-car accidents often involve more serious injuries and bigger liability than two car crashes. In addition, autobahn-837643_1920-300x199once the accident has happened, the danger has not necessarily passed. Moreover, liability—or who is responsible—can be especially difficult to determine. So, how can you figure out who is at fault, and what should you do if you have been involved in a multi-car accident?

Consider Your Safety First

If you have been in a multi-car crash, your first priority should be staying safe. Stay in your car with your seat belt fastened until the police or EMTs tell you it is safe to exit. The biggest risk at this point is getting hit by another car after leaving your vehicle.

Winter is here and accidents are already on the rise. Here are a few basic tips as we navigate the busiest time of year for auto accidents.car-3013041_1920-thumb-300x192-107996-thumb-300x192-107997-300x192

If you’re involved in an accident during a snow storm, you may be asked to file a report at a later time since police may be unable to respond to every auto accident. Do file a report with the police right away and be sure to notify your insurance carrier immediately. In addition, it is important that you seek medical help right away if you’ve been injured. Having a gap or lapse in your medical treatment will prolong your recovery time and make insurance carriers wary of your claim.

If you have been injured and you have group health insurance coverage, you need to use it to pay your medical bills. Your group health insurance has contracts with the medical providers and typically obtains reductions of about 50% from the medical providers. Use your auto insurance med-pay coverage to cover anything your health insurance does not cover!

Thumbnail image for car-831928_1920.jpgCar crashes happen thousands of times a year and can have devastating impacts on families throughout Illinois. In fact, the past few years have been some of the deadliest years for drivers in American history. If you get in an accident, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that you are making the best of a bad situation and protecting yourself. I deal with these issues in my practice every day. Here are some helpful tips in the event that you are in an accident.

Be Prepared

  • Make sure your insurance information, photo identification and a copy of the registration to your vehicle are easily accessible. I also suggest that my clients have a photograph of their license, insurance information and registration on their smart phones.
  • It also helps to carry a card with any relevant medical information for you and your family.

Immediately after an accident

smart-watch-821559_1920 (1).jpgOver the last 10 years, cell phones have gone from large handheld phones we could use to make calls, to mini computers containing our mobile offices that we run our entire lives and businesses from. They are now essential tools in our everyday lives, but they are also incredibly dangerous when used while driving.

While everyone under the sun has acknowledged the dangers of distracted driving because of our smart phones, we have over-looked another – more distracting – device that is making driving more dangerous.

A study by the U.K. Transport Research Laboratory found that smartwatches are far more distracting than smartphones. According to the Huffington Post, the research found it takes 2.52 seconds for someone to react in the event of an emergency after looking at their smartwatch, compared to 1.85 seconds if they were using a smart phone.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for car-accident-1921347_1920.jpgIf you’ve been in a car accident, the first priority is to attend to any medical needs, particularly if there is a medical emergency.

The next priority is to get the police to come to the accident scene. The report which the police prepare after visiting the accident scene serves many important functions, including helping you get a better settlement of your case with the other driver’s insurer.

Here’s why:

automobile-1845012_1920 (1).jpgThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has studied vehicle safety for the years 2012-2015, and recently announced that there were 11 cars and SUV’s that were not involved in a single fatal crash during those four years. Here’s the list:

· Audi Q7 SUV

· Volkswagen Tiguan 2 wheel drive SUV

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its list of the 25 most dangerous vehicles on the road today, based on the number of fatal accidents in which its drivers/passengers were involved between 2011 and 2015. Here is that list (also see the link below for important detail as to why each vehicle is on the list):

  1. Hyundai Accent sedan Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ford-290615_1920.jpg
  2. Kia Rio
  3. Scion tC
  4. Chevrolet spark
  5. Nissan Versa
  6. Ford Fiesta Sedan
  7. Kia Soul
  8. Dodge Challenger
  9. Nissan Titan pickup
  10. Nissan Sentra
  11. Ford Focus sedan
  12. Chrysler 200
  13. Hyundai Genesis coupe
  14. Ford Fiesta hatchback
  15. Hyundai Accent hatchback
  16. Mitsubishi Lancer
  17. Volkswagen Golf
  18. Chrysler Impala
  19. Dodge Avenger
  20. Ford Mustang convertible
  21. Nissan Maxima
  22. Ford Mustang coupe
  23. Ram 1500 pickup
  24. Chevrolet Camaro coupe
  25. Subaru Impreza

Some important things to keep in mind about this list:

· Because it is based on accidents occurring in years past (2011 to 2015), and because the safety of these makes and models might have improved since then, this list is not necessarily a reliable guide for determining the safety (or dangerousness) of the vehicles being sold today. The linked article notes, for example, that the current models of the Subaru Impreza (#25) are Top Safety vehicles, due to improved safety systems installed in the last 3 years.

car-2220020_1920.jpgAs I’m writing this, I feel like the old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn…..but I feel the question needs to be asked:

“Are all these new car safety features making driving safer, or do they lull drivers into thinking that the car will take care of problems that occur on the road, so that the driver doesn’t have to?”

I am concerned especially about young drivers, who have grown up learning to place great faith in technology. Do they place too much faith, for example in:

squad-car-1209719_1920.jpgHere’s why you should absolutely call the police if you’ve been in a car accident:

(1) It’s the law. In most jurisdictions, you are legally required to report to the police when you’ve been in an accident. We are often asked whether that remains true even in the event of a minor accident, and the answer is “yes.” You should still call the police, and describe what has happened-being particularly careful to describe any injuries or significant car damage. The police may tell you that the accident is so minor that they will not be sending an officer to the scene. That’s fine. You’ve done your duty as a citizen by reporting the accident. In that event, you should still go the police station and file your own report of the accident (and take a copy for your records). This will prove very helpful should there be a dispute later on about what happened; your fresh recollection of the accident as documented in your report filed right after the accident will be strong proof of the truth.

(2) It’s the best way to get emergency help to the scene. Calling 911 will put you on the phone with a trained specialist who will not only get a police officer to the scene, but also will determine whether emergency medical care should be sent to the scene, as well.

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