Holidays lead to an increase in traffic volume. The ice and snow that accompany winters in Illinois lead to treacherous driving conditions and car accidents. The Illinois Department of Transportation is working with Illinois State Police and Illinois Tollway to put forth a safety campaign to help drivers deal with the dangers of winter driving. The campaign is called "Ice and Snow - Take it Slow." It emphasizes several measures drivers can take to reduce accidents and protect their loved ones during cold weather months.
On November 26, 2012, Illinois State Trooper Kyle Deatherage was doing his job. He was in the process of conducting a traffic stop when he was struck and killed by a passing vehicle. In remembrance of this tragic accident, Illinois law enforcement personnel are conducting 24 consecutive hours of patrols seeking impaired drivers. The program, known as Operation Kyle, kicks off a larger program of enhanced patrolling that is intended to cover the holiday season. From today until the New Year, Illinois State Troopers as well as local officers and sheriffs will be focusing increased efforts on stopping drivers who are suspected of distracted driving, seatbelt violations, speeding or driving under the influence.
State Farm released its yearly report on distracted driving this week. The report compiles information about dangerous driving behaviors that may contribute to serious car accidents. The report identified a growing tendency among drivers to use cell phones to access the internet while behind the wheel. The increase may be related to a sharp increase in the percentage of older drivers who own cell phones. Smart phones are now the norm for drivers in every age group under 65.
The Illinois Secretary of State recently credited a sharp drop in teen driving deaths to changes made to the Graduated Driver Licensing program in 2008. In 2007, Illinois saw car accidents claim the lives of 144 teen drivers. In 2012, that number dropped to 58 deaths. The GDL program was strengthened to help young drivers acclimate to the demands of safe driving in a more controlled manner. It addressed known safety issues such as teens driving with other teen passengers, teens driving at night and distracted driving behaviors. The Secretary of State referred to the program as, "one of the best in the nation."
October 20-26 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. In conjunction with the safety initiatives of the week, the National Safety Council has released a list of things for parents to be aware of in helping keep their teen drivers safe. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. Fatalities among teens in car crashes have dropped in recent years, but the problem remains widespread. The NSC is hoping to help parents understand the role they play in helping young drivers learn safe driving practices.
Illinois is among the large majority of states to have enacted a ban against texting and driving. Legislation forbidding the practice is one means of combating the number of serious car accidents involving this form of distracted driving. It is not enough to stop the practice, however. It is important to gain the public's acceptance that texting and driving is dangerous and to view the conduct as a significant threat to safety. A recent study appearing in the International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management suggests that there is a lot of work to be done to get people to change their behavior.
For some, driving in traffic is a regular occurrence. For others, driving in cities or during rush hour is a nerve-wracking and unusual event. Regardless of your level of familiarity with city driving, there are several things you need to keep in mind to reduce the likelihood of a car accident. Driving in heavy traffic requires vigilance and patience. There are mental and physical challenges that can quickly lead even a good driver into serious trouble. The following tips can help you stay safe in any driving scenario.
Another holiday weekend is approaching. According to the AAA, the upcoming Labor Day weekend will see a spike in the number of people traveling 50 miles or more. With increased road traffic comes an increase in car accidents. Anyone planning on being on the roads from August 29 to September 2 should be prepared to deal with more congestion than normal and all the safety hazards that attend heavy traffic.
The second week of October will mark the 18th annual Drive Safely Work Week. In anticipation, the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety is providing free online materials designed to help employers avoid accidents and improve safety awareness in their communities. The campaign for this year focuses on the necessary preparation for safe driving. The title of the campaign is "Gear Up For Safe Driving: Mind - Body - Vehicle."
Many older drivers can recall eagerly awaiting the chance to obtain a driver's license. Programs designed to reduce teen car accidents may be changing the way new drivers approach that rite of passage. The change in behavior could have safety implications. Whereas two-thirds of teens had obtained their licenses by the age of 18 a mere 20 years ago, that number has dropped to 54 percent. Teens are waiting longer than ever to get their driver's license. That delay may rob them of many of the intended benefits of graduated licensing programs.