Motor vehicle accidents can be described as accidents on the road involving any type of motor vehicle (i.e., cars/trucks/SUVs, semi-trucks, motorcycles) and even bicyclists and pedestrians injured by motor vehicles. Compared to the other states in the U.S., Illinois isn’t that bad when it comes to car crashes, particularly those caused by drunk drivers.
Even though Illinois is one of the safest states for drivers, there are still motor vehicle accidents that happen. Some of the most common types of car accidents in Illinois are:
- Head-On Collisions
- Rear-End Collisions
- T-bone (side swipe) Accidents
These accidents all have multiple causes, and here are four of the most common causes of car accidents in the state of Illinois.
1. Reckless Driving
a) Distracted Driving
The number one cause of car accidents in Illinois and most of the U.S. is distracted driving, accounting for up to half of all crashes. The most common reason for distracted driving is texting while driving, but anything that takes the driver’s attention off of the road for even just a second is considered a distraction. This can be eating, talking to other passengers in the vehicle, applying makeup, using GPS, adjusting the radio, etc.
Driving at excessive speeds increases the risk of a crash occurring. Stopping in time to avoid an accident is much more successful when you’re driving at a slower speed than it is when driving at a higher speed. Crashes are also more serious when they occur at higher speeds.
Driver fatigue happens when drivers are physically and mentally too tired to drive, but believe that they could drive anyway. The majority of car accidents that result from fatigued drivers occur between 11:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. This is very common among semi-truck drivers, but drivers of other vehicles can experience fatigue as well. Many believe that they can make the drive and want to save time by doing so, but far too often this decision ends in a wreck.
3. Driving Under The Influence
The most common type of “driving under the influence” is drunk driving. Other types may include driving under the influence of drugs (both prescription and nonprescription) and any other substance that affects focus. Driving under the influence can be considered a form of reckless driving, and reckless driving leads to running stop signs and red lights, failure to maintain a lane, and many other traffic violations that can lead to car accidents.
Over 90% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by human error, meaning that some aren’t. Here’s a look at some of the most common causes of car accidents that aren’t related to human error.
a) Dangerous Road Conditions
Dangerous road conditions, such as construction zones and potholes can also cause motor vehicle accidents if drivers aren’t exercising extra caution. Even when drivers are using extra caution in construction areas, debris can get on the road and cause popped tires, which can cause serious car accidents.
b) Inclement Weather
Illinois is known for having extreme weather conditions at times, such as tornadoes in the spring and blizzards in the winter. In addition to this, the state sees rainstorms that can result in flash floods, and all of these weather conditions can make it very dangerous to drive.
Ideally, drivers should stay off of the road when weather conditions are this severe, but rainstorms don’t keep everyone off the road. Although rain is safe to drive in, drivers should exercise more caution— although many don’t.
c) Vehicle Defects
While this isn’t one of the major causes of car accidents in Illinois, defects in the car itself can lead to serious accidents on the road. However, no matter what the cause of a car accident is, the proper steps must be taken. One of those steps should be to contact an Illinois personal injury lawyer.
Of course, if you’re ever involved in a car accident— at fault or not— the first thing that you need to do is to call the police, especially if there are any injuries and/or property damage.
Illinois requires a police report if a car crash causes death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 worth of property damage with insurance ($500 without). You’ll also want to get checked out by a doctor, and contact a lawyer before accepting anything from your insurance company.