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From July 14 to 20, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will make sure that people who drive commercial and passenger vehicles in Illinois and elsewhere around the country follow the traffic laws. These seven days have been designated as Operation Safe Driver Week for 2019, and during the event, law enforcement personnel across North America will be stopping unsafe drivers and issuing warnings and/or citations.

Speeding is the focus of this year’s event. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck and Bus Facts report from 2016 named speeding as the top driver-related factor in car crashes. In fact, the practice has been implicated in almost a third of all auto accident fatalities for decades.

Police will also be checking for other signs of negligent or reckless behavior, including phone use behind the wheel, failure to obey traffic signs, seat belt neglect, improper lane changing and failure to maintain a safe distance from vehicles. Still, the main message that the CVSA wants to communicate is “late won’t kill you, speeding will.”

During 2018’s Operation Safe Driver Week, 51,000 law enforcement officials came into contact with 113,331 drivers. A total of 57,405 citations were issued, 18,817 of which related to speeding. There were also 714 passenger vehicle drivers and 17 CMV drivers who were issued citations for driving too quickly in bad road conditions.

Speeding-related accidents can form the basis for a personal injury case. Victims may need to hire a lawyer, though, or their chances of recovering damages may be slim. An attorney may bring in investigators to obtain evidence against the other driver, which may include physical evidence at the crash site and eyewitness testimony. Medical experts may come in to show how extensive victims’ injuries were. Victims may then have their lawyer negotiate for a settlement or, as a last resort, take the matter to court.