41316(2)Rooftop BBQs, long days at the beach, and an endless string of parades, festivals, and concerts make Chicago the place to be once the temperature rises. City residents, Illinois suburbanites, and families from across the Midwest flock to our great city to see what Chicago summertime has to offer. Many residents also take advantage of the warm weather to travel elsewhere and vacation with family or friends.

However, a deadly trend accompanies the sunshine and fun: the 100 deadliest days. The 100 deadliest days span from Memorial Day to Labor Day, creating a spike in death rates caused by motor vehicle collisions. These numbers especially increase for teen drivers, with around 1,022 people perishing in accidents involving teens within those 100 days of summer each year. That’s around 10 lives lost every day.

During the summer motor vehicle collision rates experience a significant increase. With young and inexperienced drivers free from their textbooks, tourists coming into the city, and residents exiting, there are more vehicles on the road creating a higher chance for collisions. Chicago and the whole state of Illinois experience increased traffic and congestion on expressways making travel more dangerous.

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5616If you like weather that changes so often it makes it hard to prepare for the day, then Chicago may be a perfect place for you to live. Over the last few days we have seen torrential rainstorms and bright sunny skies, not to mention wind so strong that it could knock down a pedestrian. Soon we will have to contend with sleet and other weather-related conditions that make driving on our roadways difficult and even hazardous.

With water and moisture one of the primary weather-related threats to safety on the expressways in July, it is a good idea to be familiar with strategies for driving in the rain that will improve your odds of arriving at your destination without a car accident occurring.

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Often, people who spend time in Chicago but who do not ride a bicycle will ponder why there are so many collisions between cyclists and automobiles when so many steps have been taken to prevent those accidents. The addition of bicycle lanes, shared lanes, bicycle-only traffic signals, protected riding lanes, and bike friendly paths have led to a greater number of bicyclists taking to the city’s roadways annually but have not eliminated the accidents that tend to plague these riders.

Chicago has made tremendous strides in the last decade to make itself more bicycle friendly. Its efforts have been recognized at a national level where Chicago has been identified as one of the best large cities for riding in the country, a distinction that many cyclists in the area support. So why do bicycle accidents between riders and motor vehicles keep taking place?

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texting_while_driving-106967771With the advent of mobile technologies, the ability to remain connected to the global world and to one another has increased exponentially, allowing smart phone users and others to access information they want at the touch of finger – whether they are at home, at work, or walking around Chicago. Game developers have taken note over the years and many smart phone-specific games have gained almost a cult following with millions of downloads and people playing and talking about the games constantly.

The newest iteration of this phone-based game mania has arrived in the form of Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game that can be played on both Android and iOS based platforms. Since its release in July of 2016, it became the most downloaded app in the United States in itsfirst three days and it has been downloaded several million times total.

The game itself is free to download and play but there are options for in-game purchases if players choose to make them. Users can hunt the real world for virtual Pokémon who may appear in any spot from a player’s own backyard to an office building, a local cafe, a warehouse, or even on the bus seat next to you. Players can hunt for Pokémon as they go about their normal day’s activities as a smart phone’s GPS capabilities have the player’s account move in the real world as the player’s phone moves. Different types of Pokémon live in different areas of the world so if a player’s goal is to capture as many as possible, that player will have to look in a variety of settings for these virtual creatures.

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The attitudes of drivers in the Chicago area and the laws as they are written do not always reflect the same state of bicycling rights. While many drivers complain about bicyclists and state that they are a negative in the city, the reality is that bicyclists have the legal right to operate in Chicago and by doing so, bicyclists help to address some of the city’s plaguing issues. Cyclists ease the number of cars that drive in and around downtown, reducing vehicular traffic and lessening the amount of exhaust and pollution that hangs around the city. Bicyclists also get around without the need to find and occupy a traditional parking space which makes more spaces available for drivers in an area that can always use more parking.

The Illinois vehicular code is clear: bicycles can be operated legally in a lane of traffic in Illinois regardless of what other motor vehicle drivers desire. No individual has the right to limit the means by which another can travel and therefore those who drive cars, trucks, buses, vans, and SUVs must act in a manner that respects the rights of bicyclists. Failing to do so may trigger legal liability on the part of a driver and may lead to financial responsibility if a collision results and a cyclist is injured.

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71116Any type of car accident on a Chicago roadway can be a terrifying event. Whether it is a rear-end collision, a head-on crash, or even an accident that stems from a driver running a red light, the drivers and passengers involved in the incident may realize their lives changed forever due to the collision. In the worst incidents, someone involved will be killed, leading to a loss that can never be repaired and to suffering that can never be righted among the loved ones of a victim.

Any type of collision can cause injuries or death but among the most dangerous are rollover car accidents. In Illinois, like elsewhere in the nation, rollover incidents account for a very small number of the total crashes but a relatively high proportion of the total deaths caused in traffic accidents. Roughly three percent of American collisions involve a rollover but roughly 30 percent of all traffic deaths among those riding in a passenger vehicle happen in a rollover accident.

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51316Workers in Chicago face a myriad of threats to their personal safety every day they are on the job. From heavy machinery to falling products, slip-and-falls to car accidents, the unfortunate reality is that workers in Illinois are hurt while working every week, leaving them to suffer from the damage of an injury and to deal with the harm that accompanies the accidents.

At the federal level, workplace safety is overseen and monitored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), a division of the Department of Labor. Through work site inspections, regulations, and promulgations, OSHA attempts to keep things as safe as possible for American workers and to punish employers who allow dangerous conditions to exist unnecessarily. Recently, OSHA announced that the fines it assesses to negligent employers will be increasing, a welcomed sign from many in the employment industry who believe that financial risks are the only way to keep employers responsible with their conduct.

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If you drive in Chicago, you may or may not be aware of the constant threat of drunk drivers on the roadways. On any street at any time, an impaired driver may be just around the corner, lurking to cause harm if you are unlucky enough to cross their paths.

The sad fact is that drunk drivers are not just found in the hour immediately after bars close downtown. They are not confined to commercial areas and do not announce their presence as they roll down a street. Instead, these reckless drivers ignore the safety of the public by driving drunk, substantially increasing the odds that they will cause a car accident or other crash.

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1415The buzz around the advent of self-driving vehicles has been enormous in recent years. Spurred on by both a desire to improve the quality of life among motorists as well as a widely held belief that self-driving cars will reduce car accidents in Chicago and in the nation, manufacturers have been racing to produce the first, the best, and the most advanced versions of autonomous driving to date.

No one disputes that a large number of collisions across the country are due to the mistakes of drivers themselves. The thought is that eliminating the human error potential when driving will lead to a crash-free world where people no longer lose their lives or suffer injuries due to traffic accidents. However, we are far from that potential reality and new information suggests we have a long way to go as U.S. officials have confirmed the first known death associated with a car in self-driving mode.

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42116Many people assume that if they have health insurance, they will be protected from big medical bills if they are ever hurt or injured. Unfortunately, it is not until after a car accident or other incident occurs that these individuals realize they are still faced with huge expenses, some of which may be impossible to pay for victims who did not even cause their own damages.

A recent study out of the University of Michigan has confirmed that the situation is getting even bleaker in the nation as out-of-pocket expenses related to hospital treatment increased 37 percent between 2009 and 2013. By the end of that time period, an average patient paid more than $1,000 for her own medical treatment at a hospital and that number did not include follow up care, physical therapy, medication, or other associated costs.

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