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7 Safety Tips for Illinois Drivers

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In 2019, car accidents in Illinois totaled 553. Among those crashes, 595 people lost their lives. Safe driving is a life-saving measure. Illinoisans who operate a vehicle should be prepared to adhere to driver safety tips to avoid contributing to the drastic number of fatal statewide crashes.

1. Cell PhonesNegligent-Drivers-Personal-Injury-Attorneys-Car-Accidents

A new state law was enforced on July 1, 2019. Using or even holding a handheld electronic communication device, such as a cell phone, becomes an automatic moving violation under the new Illinois law. Individuals who brazenly disregard the law will receive a ticket.

The new Illinois law takes a critical look at how cell phone usage distracts even the most competent drivers. Trying to get away by using a speakerphone while holding the cell phone is still considered a violation. Three offenses in a year lead to a driver’s license suspension.

While on the road, Illinoisans who must use a cell phone that is not hands-free can do so under specific conditions. These three scenarios are recommended by the Illinois Secretary of State to promote safe driving while taking into account the need to use communication devices:

  • Park on the shoulder to make the call.
  • When traffic is at a standstill and the car is in neutral or park, a cell phone that is not hands-free may be used.
  • A cell phone that is not hands-free can be used to report emergencies.
  • Violations of the new law will result in severe repercussions, including incarceration and criminal penalties, in cases where the distracted driver is involved in a crash.

2. Drinking, Drugs and Medicine

Most Illinoisans know to avoid drinking alcohol when planning to drive. What may be surprising is that an alcohol level below the legal level of intoxication also hampers the driver’s reaction time. Slowed responses when quick thinking is required can lead to car accidents. Don’t drink and drive.

Mixing any amount of alcohol with drugs is extremely dangerous, especially while on the road. To remain safe while operating a vehicle, do not use medical cannabis, prescription, or nonprescription medicines or illegal drugs, such as heroin, LSD, cocaine, or similar mind-altering stimulants.
Illinoisans who are battling a severe cold may take antihistamines or similar cold remedies. When under the weather and consuming prescription medications or over-the-counter ones, be aware that medicines can interfere with safe driving. Under these circumstances, rest rather than drive.

3. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive drivers are on the roads, whether it’s a busy highway or rural street. Their risky behaviors include speeding, tailgating or breaking in front of a tailgater, flashing headlights, repeatedly honking, cutting off other cars, screaming, and making hand or facial gestures toward other drivers.

Safe drivers do not respond to aggression or retaliate. Rather than engage the instigator, safe drivers choose to not make eye contact. They keep their doors locked and windows rolled up. Most importantly, safe drivers never underestimate the level of aggression a driver can execute.

4. BicyclistsWoman-Riding-Bike-on-Street

Illinois, with its forest preserves and winding roadways, attracts avid bicyclists. Drivers share the road with those peddling on two wheels. Responsibilities and rights on the road are also shared. Following safety guidelines ensures the safety of all roadway users, whether they are on four wheels or two.

Drivers should yield to bicyclists just as they would another vehicle. Leave at least three feet of space between the vehicle and bicyclist when passing. Be especially observant and slow down when driving through a residential area where young kids are commonly riding bicycles.

5. Railroad Tracks

Railroad tracks crisscross much of Illinois. The majority of drivers will eventually pass over railroad crossings and should be aware of safety regulations. Vehicles should stop 15 to 50 feet from the tracks if a stop sign is present, the crossing lights flash or the crossing gate lowers.

In the ill-timed event a driver’s vehicle becomes stalled on the railroad tracks, everyone in the car should immediately exit and relocate away from the tracks at a 45-degree angle. Such positioning prevents flying debris from injuring individuals if the train makes impact. Place a call to 911.

6. Vehicle Failure

With the 4.5 million cars on Illinois roadways, equipment failures are bound to happen. When they do, it is critical to maneuver the broken-down car off the roadway safely and quickly. Numerous types of failures can occur, from stuck gas pedals to brake failures to blowouts.

When brake failures occur, the driver’s best friend is the emergency parking brake. A stuck gas pedal calls for a rapid shift to neutral and a gradual brake. Thumping sounds warn of blowouts. In instances of tire loss or blowout, ease off the gas pedal and steer off the road.

7. Time of Day

Rush hour on any weekday occurs between 5pm and 7pm. Due to the increased number of drivers frantically heading home, these evening hours are the most dangerous to navigate. Driving during the mornings is considered safer than traversing the nighttime roads.

Personal Injury Attorney for Bike and Car Accidents


When you are on the road as a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist, you are vulnerable to injury. Accidents happen and can leave you with life-changing injuries and exorbitant hospital bills. Personal injury laws in Illinois are designed to protect victims. If you are involved in an accident that results in injury, seek the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

You deserve adequate compensation for your injuries. The experienced legal professionals from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. have successfully won cases involving construction accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, and wrongful death. Our personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you win your legal battle.

With personal injury attorneys who are up to date on Illinois laws, our firm is positioned to provide you with legal options or help you work with insurance companies to resolve your dispute. The Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. personal injury law firm is dedicated to serving the residents of Oak Lawn, Illinois.

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