Safe Vehicle Travel Around The Super Bowl

Statistics indicate that while drunk driving accidents happen at various times in Will County as well as elsewhere in Illinois, at certain times – especially during holidays and around major events – these drunk driving accidents tend to be more numerous.

Today (January 29, 2015) the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a press release titled “Choose a Winning Team on Super Bowl Sunday: Drinking or Driving.” (pdf)

A few notable excerpts:

The Illinois State Police and more than 100 local police departments and sheriff’s offices will be out in force this weekend, stepping up enforcement on drunk driving and seat belt compliance.

also:

In Illinois over the last five years (2010-2014),18 motor-vehicle fatalities occurred on Super Bowl Sunday. Nine of those fatalities, or 50 percent, involved a driver who had been drinking.

“Drunk driving remains one of the highest contributory causes of fatal crashes,” said ISP Colonel Mike Zerbonia. “ISP Troopers will strictly enforce DUI’s during Super Bowl weekend. Choosing alcohol over your safety and the safety of others can only lead to tragic defeat,” he stressed.

The release also provides tips and suggestions as to how to have a safe (as far as travel by vehicle) Super Bowl Sunday.

Additional details can be seen in the IDOT press release mentioned above.

Fatal I-55 Crash Near Plainfield, Illinois

There was a fatal Will County vehicle accident Sunday night (January 18, 2015) on southbound I-55 near Plainfield.

According to the Illinois State Police (ISP), the accident happened at approximately 7:54 p.m. as the vehicle was traveling southbound.

An excerpt from the January 19, 2015 Plainfield Patch article titled “Driver Killed in Single-Vehicle I-55 Crash Near Plainfield:  State Police“:

A driver was killed after a vehicle left the roadway and flipped over a guardrail on southbound I-55 near Plainfield on Sunday night, Illinois State Police said.

According to the Will County Coroner’s Office, the driver was identified as Steven R. McMullan, 34, of Joliet.

The crash remains under investigation.

Additional details regarding this fatal Will County crash can be found in a variety of media sources, including the Plainfield Patch article mentioned above, as well as the January 19 TribLocal Joliet & Romeoville article titled “Joliet man dies in one-car crash on I-55.”

I-55 Emergency Pothole Repair Near Bolingbrook

There are numerous causes of Will County car crashes.  One of these causes is the existence of traffic safety hazards.   Traffic hazards can take many forms.  Danger is often presented because such hazards can suddenly appear, and as such are often unexpected by drivers.

One type of traffic safety hazard, especially in the winter, is the (sudden) formation of large potholes.  There have been numerous instances of potholes causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles, and some of these losses of control have caused accidents.

A large pothole caused lane closures on I-55 near Bolingbrook today, January 12, 2015.  This pothole is the subject of the IDOT release titled “I-55 Emergency Pothole Repair Near Bolingbrook.”  An excerpt:

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that the two left lanes of inbound Interstate 55 (Stevenson Expressway) over Joliet Road near Interstate 355 (Veterans Memorial Tollway) are closed for an emergency repair. The lanes are anticipated to be reopened during the overnight hours in advance of the Tuesday morning inbound commute.

The abc7chicago.com article of January 12, 2015 titled “I-55 down to 2 lanes at Joliet Road near Bolingbrook” also discusses the pothole repair, as well as has a picture of the pothole, which appears large and likely deep.

Fatal Collision In Elwood, Illinois

There was a fatal collision in Elwood Thursday morning (January 8, 2015) after which a man died.

According to Elwood Police, the accident happened shortly before 7:00 a.m., on the Arsenal Road bridge, which is about a half-mile east of I-55.  The collision involved a Ford Explorer that lost control, crossed the center line, and was “T-boned” by another SUV.

The bridge was said to be icy at the time of the collision.

The driver of the Ford Explorer was extricated from his SUV, and then flown via helicopter to  Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downer’s Grove for treatment of accident injuries.  He was pronounced dead at 9:15 a.m.

The man was later identified as Scott Wood, 31, of Joliet.

The other driver was taken to Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.  His injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

The accident remains under investigation.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal Will County accident can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the January 8, 2015 Morris Daily Herald article titled “Joliet man dies after Elwood collision” as well as the January 8 Joliet Patch article titled “Fundraiser to Help Family of Joliet Man Killed in Crash.”

Illinois Driving Conditions Warning

Yesterday (January 5, 2015) the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a press release titled “Governor Quinn Directs State Agencies to Combat Severe Winter Weather.”  The release discusses various aspects of the cold weather, snow, and resulting possible adverse road conditions throughout Illinois.

A couple of excerpts:

The Governor also directed the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to ready more than 1,768 trucks and more than 3,700 employees in preparation of the anticipated snowfall overnight. The statewide fleet will help remove anticipated snow and ice on 1,245 state routes that will create hazardous driving conditions over next few days. Motorists are advised to be on alert for slick roadways and to take extra precautions when traveling.

“The Illinois Department of Transportation is fully prepared to respond to the winter weather heading our way,” Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren said. “While our top priority always is to make sure our roadways are safe as possible, we also ask the motoring public to pay close attention to the changing conditions. Please be prepared to reduce your speed and build some extra time into your schedules. During storms or when temperatures are extremely low, travel is not advised unless absolutely necessary.”

National Weather Service forecasters are predicting one to seven inches of snow will fall across the northern half of Illinois starting tonight and into Tuesday morning. Bitterly cold air with wind chills approaching 30 below are forecasted across the entire state through Thursday, significantly reducing the ability of salt to melt snow and ice, particularly during the overnight hours. Throughout the day today, IDOT has been pretreating bridge decks and elevated driving surfaces that are susceptible to icing.

also:

The Illinois State Police (ISP) are warning motorists to plan accordingly and make safety a priority by driving at a safe speed, allowing plenty of distance from other vehicles to safely maneuver, ensuring vehicle lights are functioning properly, watching for snow removal equipment and exiting the road to a safe location if driving conditions become too hazardous.

“Motorists should take every safety precaution while driving during extreme weather conditions, so that they arrive and depart to and from their destinations safely,” ISP Director Hiram Grau said. “Reducing speed, avoiding distractions and paying attention to emergency vehicles—especially when roads and interstates are icy and visibility is reduced—will make driving conditions safer.”

The above-mentioned press release also says that Illinois motorists can check the latest road conditions and road closure information at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.

In addition to the above warnings, given the cold temperatures, anticipated high winds, and recent snowfall, ice and/or “black ice” conditions might also be present.  “Black ice” conditions have been the cause of many car accidents, and this issue has been discussed on previous posts, including that of January 6, 2014 titled “Black Ice Hazard On Roadways.”