Personal Injury Lawyers

Fatal Chicago Motorcycle Crash Preceded By "Fog of Rage"

A fatal motorcycle crash in Naperville, about a half hour outside of the city, was reportedly the result of a motorist who was not only full of alcohol, but also anger.

Our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers know that incidents like this are far too common, as are those that, like this one, involve a hit-and-run.

Thankfully, the individual responsible for this reckless act of violence was eventually caught and is now facing criminal sanctions.

The 32-year-old suspect reportedly turned in front of traffic at a busy intersection in the middle of the day last June. As a result, a 63-year-old motorcyclist slammed into the side of his vehicle. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation reports this is the number one cause of fatal motorcycle crashes nationwide — a driver that fails to yield the right-of-way and turns in front of an oncoming rider.

At the time of that incident, the younger driver had been chasing a car full of teenagers, whom he had reportedly been involved in an altercation with just a few minutes before in an apparent road rage incident. The teenagers had reportedly threatened the man, according to a later account by defense lawyers. However, if those threats generated fear, it’s not clear why he would then be chasing them.

What we do know is that he was so focused on catching up to those teenagers that he was barreling through traffic, with little to no disregard for the lives of anyone else on the road that day.

Appallingly, even after the crash, the younger driver did not stop to see if the motorcyclist was alright or how he might offer assistance. He fled. And his fleeing was not motivated by the fact that he was afraid for the consequences to himself. Rather, he remained intent on catching up with the car load of teens and so, he continued to give chase.

The driver had admitted to using marijuana earlier in the day, and drug tests would later reveal trace amounts of cocaine also in his system.

The motorcyclist, too, was reportedly under the influence of alcohol, but prosecutors stressed that what happened that afternoon was in no way the fault of the deceased rider. Prosecutors said he was doing nothing more than riding his motorcycle on a clear, sunny afternoon day.

A verdict from the judge in the bench trial is due at the end of this month.

While this is an egregious and tragic example of how road rage can quickly explode into a life-shattering event, the truth is, there are many manifestations of it.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that the most common form of road rage is excessive and aggressive speeding, especially during inclement weather or heavy traffic. Speed is a factor in one out of every three fatal accidents. The reason it’s so dangerous is that drivers have less time to react to a dangerous situation, meaning it is going to increase the risk that the wreck will be more severe than it would otherwise.

The DOT recommends the following actions to help avoid a confrontation with a road rager:

  • Don’t react if another driver is behaving uncivilly toward you. Don’t make eye contact, don’t accelerate, brake, tailgate or suddenly swerve. All of this can be scene as provocations.
  • If you are approached by a driver who is aggressive or think you are being followed, travel to the nearest law enforcement headquarters or substation.
  • Lock up your doors.
  • Resist the urge to pick a fight or display a weapon. That will only serve to escalate the situation.

If you have been injured in a Chicago motorcycle accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

Chicago Pedestrian Accident Kills Teen Girl

A 17-year-old Oakland park girl was struck by a vehicle around 5 on a Friday morning as she was reportedly walking in the roadway while intoxicated.

Our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers know that in a case like this, the pedestrian would most likely be found at-fault. However, the fact that this teen was intoxicated at all was a primary issue for investigators with the Olympia Fields Police Department.

Reports were that prior to the crash, the teen had been attending a local house party. There, she had been served alcohol provided by the 21-year-old resident. That individual has been arrested on one count of providing liquor to a minor and a second count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

This fact alone may make him liable for her death in a future civil lawsuit, should her family choose to file one.

The driver who reportedly hit the girl stayed on scene afterward. Had he not, he could have faced charges of hit-and-run.

Last year, the City of Chicago released a comprehensive report detailing pedestrian safety concerns, trends and precautionary measures. The analysis looked at all pedestrian-related incidents reported between 2005 and 2009.

Encouragingly, overall pedestrian accidents were down about 20 percent since 2001 and about 9 percent from 2005 to 2009.

But we’re still looking at a number that is troubling. InĀ  2009, there were 3,130 pedestrian crashes in Chicago that year, many of those resulting in serious injury and death. That year, more than 500 people were seriously injured and 34 people were killed in pedestrian crashes, researchers reported.

Those individuals with the highest rate of crashes were between the ages of 15 and 18.

In the Central Business District of the city, taxi cabs accounted for nearly 30 percent of pedestrian accidents.

For the most part, these crashes were occurring at high rates between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., with the second-highest time between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Nearly 80 percent of all pedestrian crashes occurred within about 120 feet of an intersection, while about half happened in the intersection itself.

Pedestrian crashes involving children under the age of 14 were most likely to occur on local streets, while nearly 80 percent of pedestrian crashes overall happened on collector and arterial roadways.

Meanwhile, pedestrians who are older are more likely to be struck in a crosswalk than in other age groups.

One of the most dangerous areas for Chicago pedestrians is several miles that stretch between the Loop and Near North Side on the east all the way to Austin on the west. This area had the most number of fatal and serious pedestrian crashes in the city.

Also, a two-mile corridor along 79th Street is where four of the top 20 pedestrian crash intersections in the city are located.

Disturbingly, Chicago has double the number of hit-and-runs in pedestrian crashes than the national average. Here, 40 percent of pedestrian crashes involve a hit-and-run, while it’s 20 percent nationwide.

Across the city, more than 50 percent of pedestrian accidents happened at intersections equipped with signals. Another 40 percent happened when the vehicle was turning left and 15 percent happened as the vehicle was turning right.

If you have been injured in a Chicago pedestrian accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.