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Automakers increasingly tout the safety of their closely regulated and high-tech vehicles, often targeting families with younger, more vulnerable passengers. Advertisements show adoring parents buckling in small children, yet fail to acknowledge the fact that many backseat passengers face continual risk as a result of front seats too weak to avoid collapsing backwards, significantly harming the passenger directly behind them.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims the car’s safest place for children is in the backseat but frequently, this is not the case. Dangerously low seat standards, which have not been substantially updated since 1967,do not adequately protect automobile passengers.

Fixing seats to meet higher safety standards “would cost on the order of a dollar or so,” for automakers to accomplish per vehicle, claims one auto company engineer. 

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pedestrian deaths, Chicago personal injury lawyersWhen a pedestrian is involved in an automobile accident, the results are often fatal. For this reason, many cities have taken significant measures to improve pedestrian safety. Despite those efforts, many parts of the country are still experiencing a rise in pedestrian auto accident deaths and the overall national average has continued to increase. Even more concerning is that 2015 proved to be the most fatal year of all.

An In-Depth Look at the Statistics

Ever since the establishment of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the year-to-year increase of pedestrian deaths has averaged between 8.1 percent increase and a 10.5 percent decrease. Then the statistics for 2015 came in and showed that 15 percent of pedestrians died in traffic-related accidents; that equals a 10 percent increase overall, which is the biggest increase ever recorded. Not all states performed poorly, however. In fact, 21 states had a decrease in pedestrian deaths, and three states had no change. It is these states that may offer some explanation.

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travel safety tips, Chicago car accident lawyersThroughout parts of Illinois, winter weather has already left more than a foot of snow. Other areas of the country are covered in ice and snow, and more winter weather is expected in the months to come. All that snow and ice places drivers are at a higher risk for automobile accidents, deaths, and injuries. Stay safe on the roads, and in your car, with the “three P’s of safe winter driving” from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Prepare, Protect, and Prevent.

Prepare for Trips

Careful planning and preparation can make all the difference when it comes to staying safe on the roads. The following are areas of extreme importance, and should be practiced by all drivers this winter:

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bicycle helmets, Chicago personal injury lawyersRoad and traffic safety are not just the responsibility of motorists; cyclists must learn how to prevent accidents effectively as well. This goes well beyond simple rules, such as wearing a helmet. Keep Illinois’ roads safe with the following cycling safety tips.

Know and Follow Local Traffic Laws

Cyclists are bound by many of the same traffic laws as motorists—do not run stop signs or red lights, ride on the appropriate side of the street, obey posted traffic signs, and use appropriate signals when making turns, for example. Because each state is different, it is important you familiarize yourself with the laws in your state and obey them.

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child injuries, Chicago car accident attorneyAn alarming number of children are injured or killed because of automobiles. In fact, a total of 638 children under the age of 12 died in a motor vehicle accident in 2013, and another 127,250 were injured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). KidsAndCars.org reported that another 184 children were killed in 2013 due to non-traffic incidents, including back-overs, front-overs, heat stroke, a vehicle accidently being set into motion, underage driving, power window accidents, and falls from vehicles.

Keeping Kids Safe While Driving

There are a number of contributing factors in the deaths and injuries of children in car crashes—intoxication of the driver, lack of proper vehicle restraint, and even the car itself. Keep your kids safe while on the road with these tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

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hit and run accidents, Chicago personal injury lawyerLeaving the scene of an accident is against the law. In the state of Illinois, hit-and-run drivers can be sentenced to anywhere from three years to 15 years in a state penitentiary, and face fines of up to $25,000. Unfortunately, this is not always enough of a deterrent for drivers that may have already broken the law, either by driving intoxicated or operating a vehicle without proper licensing or insurance. As such, it is important to know what to do if you are ever the victim of a hit-and-run accident.

What Not to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Probably just as important as knowing what to do in the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident is knowing what not to do. The most important is to not flee the scene yourself. This includes attempting to chase after the other driver. Instead, find somewhere safe (and outside of your vehicle) to wait for the police to arrive. And, if at all possible, do not block traffic.

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Chicago airbag recall lawyerHonda has become the first and only automotive company thus far to meet the demand from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to repair vehicles nationwide after the recent recall of Takata airbags.

Previously, the recall for airbags were limited to high-humidity states only. An increase in humidity was found to cause the airbags to inflate too fast, leading to an explosion, which caused shrapnel to spew out.

According to a report, Honda is expanding its repairs to over 2.6 million for a total of 5.4 million vehicles. The following models are included in this expansion:

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DUI accident victims, personal injury lawyer in ChicagoAccording to statistics from the Illinois Secretary of State, nearly 10,000 drivers were arrested for DUI in Cook County in 2012, leaving thousands of victims vulnerable to motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities.

In recent weeks, the Chicago Tribune reported a man was charged with leaving the scene of an accident that left a woman trapped inside her vehicle upside down. Later the woman was taken to the hospital where her left hand had to be amputated as a result of the collision.

Police on the scene were able to capture the license plate number of the driver responsible and he was taken in and held on $100,000 bond. Investigation into the case had not yet reported alcohol-related driving as a factor, but regardless of a DUI charge, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury or death is a Class 4 felony in Illinois. It carries a possible sentence of jail time of up to three years.

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