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O'Fallon Illinois Personal Injury Law Blog

What teen drivers should know about the '100 Deadliest Days'

The Independence Day holiday is arguably the height of the summer (even though the first day of summer was only a week ago). For many high-school kids (especially those who drive) it is a time like no other during the year.

The summer is also a dangerous time for teen drivers considering their proclivity to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Because of this, law enforcement agencies across Missouri refer to the months between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day weekend as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”

Will the new IPhone option curb distracted driving?

At last week’s World Developers Conference in San Jose, California, Apple announced a new function in its IOS 11 operating system that could curb distracted driving. After all, distracted driving (particularly texting while behind the wheel) is still a problem in the United States. The NHTSA reports that 3,500 people were killed in accidents involving distracted driving. Further, 391,000 were injured in such accidents.

According to a Popular Science report, the “do not disturb” function will keep an IPhone’s screen dark instead of showing notifications that could distract a driver. Essentially, the screen at “wake up” will remind users that notifications will not be displayed while the car is in motion, and people who text or send other messages will receive an auto reply message indicating that the driver is currently driving.

Can technology help to reduce motorcycle accidents?

The nice weather that comes after Mother’s Day signifies that summer (and the huge Memorial Day weekend) is coming soon. With that, motorcycle riders across the region are anticipating their opportunity to hit the open road. But like every year around this time, drivers essentially have to re-learn how to share the road with motorcycles.

This year (and those going forward) may be different because of the safety features new cars are being equipped with. Many new cars have sensors that detect objects so that collisions can be avoided. 

Can an app cure behind the wheel cell phone addiction

If you feel like you are addicted to your phone, especially when you are driving, you are certainly not alone. According to the wireless provider AT&T, as many as one in 10 drivers video chats while on their drive home. Also, more than 60 percent of drivers admitted to texting and driving and nearly 20 percent say they regularly take steering wheel selfies.

So is it a case of not wanting to put their phones down while driving, or physiologically not being able to? This is the principal question behind cell phone addiction. Regardless of how you see the answer, there are apps available to help drivers kick their habits. 

How teens can avoid prom night dangers

At this point of the school year, most teens (especially juniors and seniors) look forward to two things: spring break, where they can get away from school for a vacation; and prom night, the one glitz and glamour that will create memories for a lifetime.

With as much fun that prom night can be, we certainly do not want it to be a teen’s last night on the town. But because of the dangers that teens face during this time of year, it is imperative that they fully appreciate how dangerous drinking and driving can be. There are a number of car accidents that occur during prom season. In fact, the period between April and June is ripe for crashes to occur.

Extreme forms of distracted driving

With a number of young drivers going on spring break, drivers around the St. Louis area may be getting nervous about more teens on the road who will be texting while driving, talking on their phones or even having complete meals while behind the wheel. Yes, most young drivers understand that texting while driving is a bad idea, but they may not realize that distracted driving goes beyond using a cell phone.

Essentially, a growing number of teens are taking distracted driving to new (yet dangerous) levels. A study conducted by Oregon State University found that some young drivers apply makeup, change contact lenses and even do their homework while behind the wheel. Indeed, only a small number of teen drivers will take distracted driving to these extremes, but it exemplifies the concerns that many drivers (including law enforcement) have when it comes to teen drivers. 

Is your new car being recalled?

When you buy a new car, you do so with the expectation that it will be in mint condition, have little if any miles on it, have that trademark new car smell.  Most importantly, you also expect that your new car be free from any defects. With the more than 15 million new cars sold across the United States, it is hard to fathom that your new car can be subject to a recall, even before you drive it off the lot.

Nevertheless, cars subject to recalls are sold more often than you might think. In fact, a search of the NHTSA’s recall information website (NHTSA.gov/recalls), can lead concerned car buyers to information about whether their car is subject to a recall.  

How road rage can lead to car accidents

As technology in vehicles has advanced to focus on reducing distracted driving, there is one driving practice that may be just as dangerous but has not addressed by modern technology. “Road rage” occurs when a driver becomes so angry that he or she may use their car as a weapon to take out their frustrations, or may get out of their car to hurt someone else. Either way, such aggressive behavior can lead to accidents.

According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Aggressive driving( and subsequently, road rage) is responsible nearly two-thirds of traffic fatalities on American roads. Nearly 35 percent of all road rage incidents involve a firearm. Overall, more than 200 people have been murdered in such incidents and more than 12,000 people have been injured as a result of road rage. 

Is your hands free system safe?

With President’s Day weekend passing, auto manufacturers are not about to cancel holiday specials that apply to many new models. Most will continue such sales until February 28. This means that many of the technological upgrades that may not commonly be available (because they are cost prohibitive) will be so now. One of the most popular are hands free systems that allow drivers to make calls by pressing a button on the car’s steering wheel. These systems have gained popularity because of the notion that they are safe to use while driving. 

Why listening to your car is important

It’s no secret that auto manufacturers are getting ready for a new sales push. If you are in the market for a new car, chances are you have seen Presidents Day sales incentives. Indeed, there is a financial incentive for automakers to push new cars after the holiday season, but there is also are also safety concerns that can be addressed.

Yes, car crashes caused exclusively by mechanical failures are not common, but driver error stemming from these issues can lead to horrible accidents.  Because of this, some car accidents can be prevented by paying attention to unusual noises and having the foresight to take your car in for repairs. This post will identify some noises that you should not ignore.

Kujawski Marcus, LLC - Attorney At Law