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  • Illinois’ GDL Program Equals Safer Streets

    Well known as a model for teen driving safety, the Illinois Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program has significantly reduced the number of fatalities associated with teen drivers since it was implemented in 2008. With approximately 60 percent fewer deaths, the GDL program is proven to be effective at making Illinois streets safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20, and approximately one in five licensed drivers who are 16 years old are involved in a car accident. Driver distraction and impaired driving are major contributors to the number of teen driving accidents, and the tendency to take risks and lack of driver inexperience both play significant roles as well. To address the factors associated with the high crash rate among young drivers, Illinois developed the state’s GDL Program. What Is the Illinois GDL Program? The program, which has gained national attention and becomes a model for other states in recent years, enables teens to more thoroughly develop their driving skills as they progress through various stages to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license. The Illinois GDL program does not increase the minimum age required for young drivers to obtain a regular driver’s license. Those who complete the required instruction permit phase and pass an approved driver education program may still be able to become licensed drivers at the age of 16. For those drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 who have not successfully completed an approved driver education program, a six-hour course is required before a driver’s license can be obtained. During the first phase of the program, young drivers face nighttime driving restrictions, the number of passengers allowed is limited, and 50 hours of supervised driving must be completed. The permit must be held for at least six months and is valid for up to two years. Upon completion of phase one, drivers age 16-17 move on to phase two. They still face nighttime driving limits and the number of passengers is still limited, however, they are no longer required to have a licensed driver 21 or older in the front seat. When the second phase is completed, the driver moves on to a full driver’s license with no age-related restrictions. Even with the GDL program, younger drivers are still involved in a large number of car accidents that result in serious[READ MORE…]

  • Coping With Work-Related Head Injuries

    Work-related head injuries can lead to physical, mental, and financial hardships for an employee. A work injury attorney can file a workers compensation claim and ensure that fair benefits are received. Common Workplace Head Injuries According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over three million workers suffered non-fatal head injuries while on the job in 2014. Work-related head injuries are among the most serious type of non-fatal injury that a person can sustain, because they often have the potential to lead to long-term physical, mental, and financial problems.  A variety of accidents can cause work-related head injuries: Slip and Fall Accidents – Slip and fall accidents are consistently among the most common causes of serious work-related head injuries. There are often caused by liquid spills, cracked pavement, torn carpet, inadequate lighting, and snow and ice. Motor Vehicle Accidents – Many employment positions require employees to drive motor vehicles as part of their daily duties. Truckers, delivery drivers and construction workers are especially vulnerable to accidents that can result in serious head injuries. Defective Work Equipment – In many cases, work-related head injuries are caused by defective work tools and equipment used in the workplace. When such injuries occur, a work injury attorney can file a lawsuit against the equipment manufacturer, as well as the employer. Explosions – Certain industries such as industrial manufacturing and construction often use materials that have the potential to explode under certain conditions. Flying debris and falls due to the impact of the blast often cause head injuries. Complications From Head Injuries Work-related head injuries can result in a variety of complications, their severity is proportionate to the severity of the accident. Some of the more common complications associated with severe head injuries include: headaches and dizziness; difficulty concentrating; sensitivity to light and sound; speech and vision impairments; balance problems; sleep disturbances; changes in behavior; depression; and seizures. Subdural hematomas, common in serious head injuries, result in bleeding between the brain and the inside of the skull. The increased accumulation of blood increases pressure on the brain and puts the injury victim at a higher risk of losing consciousness or death. Work-related head injuries are often serious or fatal. Many injured employees require physical or mental rehabilitation before returning to work. With severe injuries, months or years may pass before the injured employee is able to fully recover from his/her injuries, and some injuries result in[READ MORE…]

  • How Safe is Your Child’s Daycare?

    Thousands of children suffer injuries in daycare homes and facilities across the United States every year. Although some of these injuries are simple bumps, bruises or scrapes that require simple first aid or no follow-up care at all, others are so severe that victims require emergency medical intervention. In some situations, these young children lose their lives. To help protect children from the dangers that might be lurking in child care settings, parents and caregivers should familiarize themselves with common safety concerns and how to address them. Common Safety Concerns in Daycare Settings There are a number of factors that parents and caregivers should consider to help ensure that children are as safe as possible in their daycare setting. Some of the biggest concerns include: Supervision: The lack of adequate supervision by competent adults can pose a significant threat to the safety of children. In Illinois, acceptable caregiver-to-child ratios are very specific. For children who are 14 months old or younger, for example, the ratio is one caregiver for every four children. As children grown older, the ratio changes and by the time a child reaches kindergarten age, a single provider can watch as many as 20 children. Even with ratio compliance, however, it is important to evaluate the interaction that staff members have with the children to ensure they are being adequately supervised. Basic Medical Training: Accidents can and often do happen in daycare settings. When correct first aid and CPR techniques are not performed, however, these incidents can lead to serious consequences or even fatality. It is essential that caregivers are sufficiently trained to effectively respond when emergencies happen. Illinois requires that a caregiver who is certified in the Heimlich maneuver, first aid and CPR be present at all times. In facilities where infants and newborns are cared for, all staff members must be trained about Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and safe sleep recommendations. When evaluating a daycare facility, parents should request to view copies of certifications and additional training. Medications and Chemicals: Accidental poisoning is one of the leading causes of serious injury and fatality among young children in the United States. Medications, cleaning supplies and other household chemicals should be kept in locked, childproof containers or cabinets. Additionally, when medications must be administered it is essential that caregivers have written authorization and instructions from a parent regarding proper dosage. Medications and other[READ MORE…]

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    ankin law office llc

    162 West Grand Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60654
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    Local: 312-346-8780

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    Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Aurora, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.