Seat Belts As An Injury Prevention Measure

Wearing a seat belt continues to be among the best ways to prevent accident injuries should a crash occur.  The many benefits of wearing a seat belt – as well as the types of adverse outcomes that can occur if a seat belt is not being worn during a vehicle accident – is discussed on the “Seat Belts As An Injury Preventative Measure” page.  As discussed on that page, one of the primary benefits of wearing a seat belt is that by doing so a person is far less likely to be ejected during a vehicle accident.  For those unaware, being ejected from a vehicle means that the vehicle occupant is partially or fully thrown from the vehicle.  As also discussed, should someone be ejected from the vehicle, a broad range of serious accident injuries can occur, and often these injuries lead to fatalities.

That page also highlights various Will County accidents in which vehicle ejections have occurred.  These accidents – most of which have been fatal – have occurred in Troy Township, unincorporated Manhattan Township, Channahon, Channahon Township, near Matteson, and near Bolingbrook.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a media release on November 21, 2017 titled “IDOT, ISP to Motorists:  Survive the Thanksgiving Drive.” (pdf)  Among statistics cited in the release are those regarding the percentage of fatal crashes in which vehicle occupants are not wearing seat belts at the time of a crash.

Notable excerpts include:

IDOT is partnering with the Illinois State Police and more than 150 law enforcement agencies to increase patrols and checkpoints throughout the state. The enforcement effort began Nov. 17 and runs through the early morning hours of Nov. 27. A high concentration of patrols will occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., when seat-belt use declines and a higher percentage of alcohol related crashes and fatalities occur.

Though the seat-belt usage rate in Illinois in 2016 was 93 percent, those who travel unbuckled represent a large percentage of traffic-related fatalities. Of the 1,078 people who died in 2016 crashes, only 57 percent were wearing their seat belt. Illinois law requires that all vehicle occupants wear seat belts. Not wearing a seat belt drastically increases the occupant’s risk of being injured or killed in the event of a crash.

Additional details can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Winter Driving Safety Issues And Driving Safety Tips

Winter driving is becoming more of a concern given the change of seasons and various recent snow and ice accumulations.  Accidents have occurred, as seen in the various incidents including the “black ice” accidents that recently happened on the Dan Ryan Expressway and elsewhere in the Chicago area.

On November 20, 2017 the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a press release with regard to winter driving safety.  The press release is titled “Preparation is Key:  Winter Weather – Get it Together.”

Notable excerpts include:

Throughout the winter, especially during adverse conditions, motorists should practice basic winter driving skills and build extra time into their schedules.

The press release offers numerous tips.  The first tip offered is to wear a seat belt.  On this site, the many safety benefits of wearing a seat belt are discussed on the “Seat Belts As An Accident Injury Preventative Measure” page.

The other tips cover a range of actions.  Another tips is to watch for “black ice.”  Another excerpt from the press release:

“Winter weather causes extremely dangerous driving with black ice and white out conditions,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Plan ahead by checking your windshield wipers, vehicle fluid levels, proper tire inflation and tread depth. Remember to avoid unnecessary lane changes and as always, reduce your speed and increase following distances. Don’t crowd the plow. Give them room to work. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.”

For those who are unaware of “black ice” and its characteristics and effects on winter driving,  “black ice” is a (very) thin coat of clear ice that forms over a road.  The thin coat of ice is hazardous for various reasons, including that the resulting roadway surface is very slippery, and the ice can be very difficult to see, especially at night.  In many instances a driver that drives over “black ice” will lose control of the vehicle which may lead to an accident with injuries.

Car Accidents Attributed To Slick Roadways

There was light snowfall throughout the Chicago area on Friday (November 10, 2017).  The snowfall – the first of the season – along with cold conditions caused slippery conditions.  Many, if not most streets, were not plowed or salted.

While there weren’t conditions for black ice, many car accidents occurred due to the snowfall, including spinouts, cars leaving the roadway, and collisions with fixed objects.

An excerpt regarding the car accidents that occurred in Lake County and surrounding areas, from the wgntv.com article (with video) of November 10, 2017, titled “Slick conditions causes multiple accidents, closures in Chicago-area“:

In Northbrook, slick conditions led to multiple cars in a ditch on US-41 Skokie Highway’s southbound ramp to westbound Lake-Cook Road.

An overturned vehicle was reported on Route 53 North at Palatine Road.

Accidents were also reported in Bartlett at Naperville Road and Lake Street, as well as in Libertyville on I-94/I-294 southbound at IL-176/Rockland Road. The Libertyville crash has been moved to the shoulder.

Additional details and possible updates concerning the crashes can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the article mentioned above as well as the Chicago Sun-Times article of November 10 article titled “Lake effect snow showers cause driving woes, sends plows to streets.”

Fatal “Hit & Run” Accident Leads To Death Of Pedestrian

There was a fatal “hit & run” accident in Bolingbrook during which a pedestrian died.  According to police the accident occurred sometime between 11:00 p.m. Saturday (November 4, 2017) and 1:00 a.m. Sunday (November 5, 2017.)

According to information provided by the Bolingbrook Police Department and the Will County Coroner’s Office, a woman’s body was found in the grass along the north side of Frontage Road near Lawton Lane.  The body was discovered at 10:54 a.m. Sunday.

The woman struck and killed was identified as Tricia S. Hoyt, 35, of Orland Park.

An excerpt from the November 7 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “35-year-old woman killed in Bolingbrook hit-and-run crash“:

An autopsy Monday found Hoyt died of multiple injuries, but did not rule on her final cause of death pending further reports, the coroner’s office said.

Anyone with information should call Bolingbrook police at (630) 226-8620; or Crime Stoppers of Bolingbrook at (630) 378-4772.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this fatal “hit & run” accident can be seen in a variety of media sources including the article mentioned above as well as the November 7 Bolingbrook Patch article titled “Bolingbrook Hit-And-Run Victim Was Orland Park Woman.”