Thanksgiving weekend is consistently one of the biggest travel events of the year. However, with the increase in drivers on the road, Thanksgiving also proves to be one of the most unsafe weekends for drivers. Forbes.com released an estimate that more than 48.5 million drivers will take to the road between this Thursday and Sunday, a 2.5 million increase over 2017. Unfortunately, this creates more opportunities for distracted and unsafe driving.
On July 29, 2018, around 2:00 p.m., a semi-truck crashed with a passenger car, driven by a teenage woman, at the Randall and Hopps roads intersection in Elgin, Illinois. Elgin police report that the woman made her left turn from southbound Randall Road towards eastbound Hopps Road. The semi-truck, driven by a 57 year-old Wheeling man, did manage to sound its horn but could not avoid impact. Authorities pronounced the woman dead at the scene, but they have not released the identities of the drivers or if traffic tickets were issued.
11 people were injured when an ambulance T-boned a minivan at Galena Boulevard and West Street in Aurora, on May 16, 2018. The crash occurred around 4:00 p.m. when the ambulance, headed west on Galena Boulevard with the lights and sirens activated, collided with the minivan headed south on West Street.
On May 7, 2018, a Romeoville man was struck and killed on Route 53 near Greenwood Avenue in Romeoville, Illinois. Police say the crash occurred around 3:00 p.m. on Monday when the driver of the semi-truck, a 53 year-old man from Markham, struck the pedestrian as he attempted to cross the street.
On May 6, 2018, around 11:30 p.m., two cars crashed head-on at Route 47 near Beith Road in Campton Township, Illinois. The Kane County Sheriff's Office reports that Linda Clark was southbound on Route 47, in a Honda Civic, when she crossed over the center dividing line and crashed into a northbound Toyota Highlander.
It is against the law in Illinois to text while behind the wheel. All drivers cannot use a cellphone while driving, but individuals at least 19 years of age can use a hands-free device.
On April 8, 2018, in Bartlett, Illinois, two people were killed when their car left the road and struck a utility pole. Authorities say that the driver of the car, Darion Garner, age 25, was traveling with six other people when he lost control of his 2005 Ford Escape near the intersection of Lake Street and Route 20, near the Route 59 overpass.
On March 19th, the first pedestrian death as a result of a driverless car occurred in Tempe, Arizona. Arizona has been a strong proponent of the driverless technology. It has quickly cut regulations and opened its public roads to driverless cars in an attempt to lure driverless car manufacturers such as Uber, Lyft and Waymo over its borders. Driverless cars have been praised as being safer than their human-operated counterparts. For instance, driverless cars take out the "distraction element" that often affects human drivers. One does not have to worry about a driverless car being distracted by a fluffy dog on the side of the road, or even worse, being under the influence of any intoxicating substance. Moreover, the driverless cars strictly adhere to the rules of the road. Driverless cars come to a complete stop at stop signs and when the traffic light turns "yellow," the driverless cars immediately slow down.
On March 11, 2018, Timothy McGuire, 37, caused a fatal two-car collision near 167th Street and 80th Avenue in Tinley Park, Illinois at 9:50 p.m. Tinley Park Police have not released exact details of the crash, but did report that McGuire was uninsured and hit another vehicle while intoxicated. As a result of the crash, a passenger in the second car, Armida Reyes, 79, of Tinley Park, was killed. Police also report that McGuire and two other occupants were injured and transported to local hospitals.
On March 2, 2018, around 2:00 p.m., three semi-trucks and four cars were involved in a fiery crash on inbound I-290 in Elmhurst, near St. Charles Road. Immediately after the crash, a fire spread between multiple truck cabs and cars involved in the pileup. Witnesses told reporters that the crash "sounded like an explosion" in the neighboring areas. Illinois State Police arrived and immediately closed all inbound lanes of the Eisenhower, which remained closed until 3:00 a.m. Friday morning.