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An Illinois State Representative has introduced new legislation that would ban cell phone use while operating a vehicle throughout the State. Yet the use of hands-free devices would continue to be allowed under the new law. Nine other states have enacted similar laws banning cell phone use while driving.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, cell phone distractions were the main cause of over 500 crashes in Illinois during the first half of 2010.

As an Illinois car accident attorney, I have seen the serious injuries that can result from distracted driving. Although I appreciate the everyday convenience that cell phones provide, I support this legislation because I believe it will reduce the amount of serious injuries and deaths that result from cell phone distracted driving.

As a Chicago car accident attorney, I want to express my support for the new Illinois law requiring that adults wear seat belts while riding in the back seat of a vehicle, which took effect on the first of this year. As winter weather conditions make Chicago area roads more dangerous, the simple step of wearing a seat belt can prevent serious injury or death in the event of an accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010, 38 un-belted back seat passengers died in car crashes in Illinois. While this may seem like a relatively small number, many of these deaths likely could have been averted if the passengers were wearing their seat belts. I strongly encourage Illinois motorists to follow this new law to avoid getting a ticket, and more importantly, to prevent serious injuries or death.

I am disturbed by the story of a recent arrest of a California teen. As a Chicago auto injury attorney, I am all too familiar with the deadly combination of teens, alcohol and reckless driving.

18 year old Ryan Armstrong was driving under the influence when he crashed his car, killing his passenger. According to Officer Robert Lehman of the California Highway Patrol, the Carmel Valley resident was arrested on charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Armstrong’s vehicle drifted off of the edge of Tasajara Road, and rolled several times. His passenger, Keenan Lucero, 19, of Carmel, was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle as it flipped. Lucero died at the scene.

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The Chicago Tribune reports on a recent lawsuit settlement involving wrongful death caused by an automobile accident. Here is what happened. Seven years ago Gregory Jones, 8, and Datondra Mitchell, 11, were hit by an unmarked police car. Jones died shortly thereafter, and Mitchell suffered serious injuries.

The officer who hit the children claimed that he was in pursuit of a vehicle, after he had seen a man in the vehicle pointing a gun at a pedestrian. However, police investigation never located the suspect, or the car Officer Mark Delboccio was chasing.

Recently, the City Council Finance Committee awarded $6.5 million to settle the lawsuit as a result of this horrific incident – $590,000 to the girl, now 18, and the remaining to the boy’s family for their losses. The full council will vote on the settlement this upcoming Thursday.

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Honda Motor Company announced this week that it's recalling more than 1,000 Honda Civics in the U.S. because the cars could leak fuel. Many of these 2012 models have not been sold yet, so the repairs will take place while still on the dealer lots. However, Honda will begin to notify customers on May 27, and owners can check the Honda website to determine if their car is affected.

This news comes on the heels of a report that U.S. safety regulators are investigating a fuel tank problem that could affect more than 2.7 million Ford F-150 trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that the steel straps holding up the gas tank can rust and break, creating the potential for a fuel spill and fire. Owners of 1997 through 2001 Ford F-150 pickups should contact their dealer for more information. No injuries have so far been reported.

Fuel leaks and defects related to the fuel distribution system can lead to vehicle fires and have the potential to cause serious injuries. As a Chicago product liability attorney, I recommend that consumers adhere to all product recall warnings, both to prevent injury and to ensure complete economic recovery should an injury occur.

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