Technology could help Illinois motorists plan trips, reduce risk of car accidents

Planning a road trip? There may soon be an app for that!

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers note a recent report by USAToday that motorists looking for the safest highway routes are more frequently turning to their smart phones and computers.
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While often cited as among the major contributors to distracted driving car crashes in Chicago and elsewhere, smartphones are not without opportunities to help improve safety. Previously, we reported on cell phone apps capable of disabling a phone while driving and of monitoring a teen’s driving behavior.

Now the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is working with eight states on a pilot program to map the safest roads. That information will be collected on a website, and a cell phone app will surely follow.

The idea is that a family traveling from Chicago to Disney World in Florida would be able to log on and incorporate accident data and other safety information when planning their route. “You could get in a car, turn on the in-vehicle navigation and request not only the quickest way from point A to point B, but the safest way,” said Peter Kissinger, CEO of the AAA Foundation.

A survey in 2009 confirmed demand for such a service, when it found nearly three-quarters of all drivers said they would consider such information when traveling in unfamiliar areas. SafeRoadsMaps.org was founded in 2008 and has received more than 10 million hits in its first two years. “You can analyze where traffic deaths have occurred over the last several years anywhere in the country,” said Lee Munnich, of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Excellence in Rural Safety.

States included in the pilot program are Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, Iowa, Michigan and New Jersey.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.