Earlier last year in December, four students were hospitalized after a school bus was involved in a serious accident with another vehicle. According to one local news report, the accident took place on a Friday morning just before nine in the morning.
Evidently, the school bus was heading east on US 136 and was stopped at a four-way stop when a southbound Hyundai coasted through the intersection and collided with the bus full of children. The Hyundai collided with the rear of the bus, near the rear axle. In all, four children were taken to the hospital, none with life-threatening injuries. However, one student was kept overnight for monitoring. He has since been released and is expected to make a full recovery.
The driver of the school bus, who was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, was not injured. The driver of the Hyundai was also uninjured. However, he was cited for failing to reduce his speed to avoid an accident. According to the news report, there was a thick fog warning in place at the time of the accident.
Driving in Inclement Conditions
This time of year, you never know what the weather is going to be like. It may be rain, snow, fog, or a perfectly clear (albeit cold) day. No matter what the weather is like, drivers all have a duty to modify their driving behavior to conform to the conditions of the road.
For example, when the roads are slick due to a prolonged rain, drivers should slow down to avoid slipping out. Similarly, when there is dense fog present on the roadway, drivers should slow down to make sure that they are able to see a safe distance ahead of them should they need to stop suddenly.
The driver of the Hyundai was cited for failing to slow down to avoid an accident. The dense fog that was present at the time likely had something to do with the accident and the driver being cited. Another citation commonly issued to motorists involved in inclement weather accidents is traveling too fast for conditions.
While the speed limit provides drivers a safe guideline in good weather conditions, the speed limit should not necessarily be followed in times of poor visibility, wet roads, snow, or other compromised road conditions. In these cases, drivers should use their best judgment to travel at whatever speed they feel is safe, even if it is below the posted speed limit.
Have You Been Involved in an Illinois Auto Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious Illinois auto accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the other driver's negligent conduct behind the wheel. However, keep in mind that recovery likely means that you will have to deal with multiple insurance agencies that are generally reluctant to pay out on even the most meritorious claim. You should contact a dedicated Illinois personal injury attorney to help you through the process.