Collisions between cars traveling in the same direction happen with far too frequently in Chicago. Often, these crashes occur on the interstates and expressways that surround us but the city’s many one-way streets, roads, and alleys also make for a scene where a side impact crash may happen.
Commonly, one vehicle traveling alongside another may not realize that the second vehicle is present, thereby attempting to change lanes when it is unsafe to do so. As all vehicles have some degree of a blind spot to the sides of the car, these crashes can happen even when motorists think they know what vehicles are nearby if a car or small SUV happens to be somewhere a driver cannot see readily with mirrors. This is one of the reasons it has been so difficult to reduce these car accidents over the years, but that may now be changing.
Many automobile manufacturers are now using blind spot monitoring systems, a type of safety device that is designed to alert a motorist to traffic on their side or in a blind spot. It works by utilizing sensors placed outside of a car to detect when an object is lateral to a vehicle and when detected, an alert triggers to make the driver aware that something may be near and that it may not be safe to change lanes at that time.
Each system varies but the majority of manufacturers use a visual cue, an audible tone, or a vibration to alert motorists to hazards. Visual cues tend to be displayed on a side view mirror, on the dashboard, and/or on the “A” pillar of the car which is located by the front edge of a driver’s side window. While hazards can be detected at any speed, most systems are optimized to detect vehicles while the car moves at highway speeds as these are the conditions most likely to result in sideswipe crashes, according to safety officials.
Like any type of technology, blind spot monitoring systems are not designed to replace common sense and caution on the part of motorists. It is still the responsibility of all drivers to check and make sure no traffic is present before they change lanes and regardless of whether their blind spot alerts are activated. Further, drivers should check regularly to ensure that the sensors used by the system are not blocked by dirt, snow, or moisture which could cause the system to fail or function sporadically.
If you have a blind spot monitoring system, understand that it may not be optimized to detect motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, or other smaller objects so you must always look at the traffic conditions before you choose to act.
Regardless of what type of technology was in a vehicle, if you were in a side impact car accident or another form of traffic crash and you were injured, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation in Illinois. Call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 for a case consultation without cost or obligation to you. We have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with you and to help you understand your legal options.
The attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. have helped countless car accident victims over the years. If you were injured or if someone you love lost their lives in a collision, call us and let us put our experience to work for you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Gearing Up for Chicago’s Motorcycle Season, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 21, 2016.