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Memorial Day Weekend -with Unfortunate Travel

memorial day

Memorial Day Weekend: It’s the kick-off of the summer season, barbecue festivities, and summer travel. Imagine relaxing by the pool and sipping on cold lemonade. Picture eating a hot dog fresh off the grill dance. However, first, we need to get there. The worst par of the all-American cookout remains traveling on congested highways and interstates.

According to Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), most vehicle collisions relate to the driver, the type and size of the vehicle, and the roadway making the road a pretty hazardous way to travel to fun activities.

Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe this Memorial Day weekend.

Always Wear Seatbelts

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2015 data, 42% of nationwide motor vehicles fatalities involved unbuckled vehicle occupants. Both the driver and all passengers must wear seatbelts in a moving vehicle. Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says buckling up is not only the law and a matter of common sense. But a driver’s and passenger’s best chance at surviving a car accident includes wearing the belt. As a part of Illinois’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign, law enforcement cracks down on violators. The State’s new “Border to Border” Operation enforces its zero-tolerance ticketing policy by ticketing seatbelt violators regardless of differing state’s seatbelt laws.

In short: if you are in the state of Illinois and in a car, you must buckle up. It can save you and your wallet!

memorial day

Don’t Drive Distracted this Memorial Day

According to IDOT, 16% of police-reported traffic-related crashes are the direct result of distracted driving. The most crucial element of roadway safety is the driver’s maintenance of undivided attention on the road and her surroundings. With congested roadways and the chance of bumper to bumper traffic, IDOT urges drivers to be alert and avoid distractions. Distracted driving includes a multitude of activities:

  • texting and driving,
  • driving while drowsy whether caused by medications or lack of sleep,
  • driving while under the influence of alcohol or another illegal substance,
  • eating while driving and
  • anything other activity that is not driving vehicle only.

These distractions cause potential harm to the distracted driver, passengers, and other drivers on the road. While drivers are allowed to utilize hands-free devices such as Bluetooth enables calling services provide through headpieces and car radios, hands-free devices can cause distractions in instances of uncooperating technology as well as emotional or heated conversations.

Defensive Driving

In order to ensure safe travels when traveling this Memorial Day weekend, IDOT recommends defensive driving. But what is actually entailed in being a defensive driver?

A defensive driver is one who

  • prepares for the unexpected,
  • controls her speed by following set traffic speeds and weather conditions,
  • leaves a safe amount of space when following another driver,
  • remains undistracted and alert, and respects and watches fellow drivers.

Ultimately, a driver must analyze conditions and alter their performance to the circumstances. This awareness while driving creates safer road conditions for all drivers and a safe arrival for you and your family to your holiday destination.

Summer Time Construction

Summer means road construction projects. The Illinois Department of Transportation asks for drivers to drive slow, eliminate distractions, and be alert for workers when driving through construction zones. Many drivers believe these rules exist to protect construction workers. In fact, a motorist is more likely to be the victim instead of workers. Per IDOT’s data collected, on average in the years of 2010 to 2014, 4,500 work zone motor vehicle accidents occurred resulting in almost 1,100 injuries and 27 fatalities. Of those 27 fatalities, only two were road construction workers. Mindful, defensive driving protects both yourself and the workers.

Sharing is Caring

A core principle of safe driving is sharing the road with other drivers and other vehicles. This includes other roadway users, semis, tractors, or emergency personnel vehicles as well as any other motor vehicle or pedestrian on the road. Be courteous of others on the road by moving over for vehicles on the shoulder of the road, pulling over for emergency vehicles, using your hazards signals when weather or road conditions deem necessary, and exercising basic courtesy to others on the road.

However, if you are involved in a truck accident, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.

Follow the Rules of the Road

The rules of the road are the basic principles that guide how we drive in the state of Illinois. Safe drivers abide by these rules including speed limits, stop and yield signs, and traffic signals as well as cooperating with any special driving situations and hazards that you may come across in your travels. Pay attention to when a speed limit lowers, you face a detour, and for inactive stoplights. Defensive driving and taking your time can save your life.

By following these tips, you can help yourself and your family enjoys your holiday weekend without any unfortunate delays.

Have a great and safe holiday weekend!

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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