April 12, 2011

Chicago attorney urges support for new effort aiming to increase global road safety

A promising new global initiative “intended to finance programs that would help reduce worldwide crash casualties was announced on Tuesday in London.” (T. Mohn, NY Times Wheels, 4/12).

The Commission for Global Road Safety has created the Driving Safety Initiative, which is “calling on the automobile industry to play a leading role in improving safety on the world’s roads through voluntary contributions added to the sale price of each new car.” Although consumers may opt out of the voluntary contributions, the vast majority of consumers are expected to be willing to contribute the equivalent of about two dollars. Bela Dinh-Zarr, the North American director of Make Roads safe, urges consumers to participate in this important cause because “it’s just $2, less than a cup of coffee, but could help buy a helmet for a child in some countries.”

According to the Commission’s chairman, Lord George Robertson, “car manufacturers and dealers can play an important, visible and positive role in saving lives and preventing disability, and we encourage them to support our proposal for a safety levy.” As a Chicago car and truck accident attorney, I join him in urging car manufacturers to take on this important task to make the roads all around the world safer.

The Driving Safety Initiative is “modeled on similar voluntary fundraising efforts for other public health epidemics, like Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign for cancer,” and the initiative is part of the United Actions Decade of Action for Road Safety, which begins on May 11, 2011. As a Chicago personal injury attorney, I fully support this important initiative.

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April 5, 2011

Highway deaths fall to lowest level since 1949

As a Chicago area car and truck accident attorney, I am thrilled by the recent reports showing that “highway deaths have fallen to their lowest levels in more than 60 years.” (K.Thomas, Washington AP, 3/31).

The U.S. Department of Transportation cited a 3% decrease in highway fatalities from 2009. Moreover, the total estimated number of fatalities at 32,788 people is the lowest number since 1949. Certainly, nearly 33,000 deaths is still far too many, but the government attributed decreases in fatalities to numerous factors including higher rate of seatbelt usage in consumers, technological increases making vehicles safer, and effective and widespread efforts to prevent drunk driving.

Even more promising is the fact that the decline in fatalities came during a year when Americans, on average, drove more miles. Although there is still much room for improvement, I am pleased with this report and am hopeful that seatbelt usage and other preventative measures will safe more lives in the years to come.

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