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What Causes Illinois Car Crashes?

Recognizing the cause of your accident may help you make a better recoveryWhether or not you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, it is important to know the common causes of car crashes. If you have not been hurt in a crash, then recognizing the common causes of accidents may help you avoid being in an accident. If, however, you have already been injured, then recognizing the common causes of auto accidents may help you understand why you were hurt and focus your investigation into the cause of the crash.

Eight Common Causes of Car Crashes

Car accidents happen every day on Illinois roads. As of December 8, 2015, 841 fatal crashes have occurred on our roads in 2015 and 46 more lives have been lost in 2015 than during the same period of 2014. Thousands of people have also been injured.

Some common reasons for these fatalities and injuries include…

  • Distracted driving. A driver is distracted when his hands are off the steering wheel, his eyes are off the road, or his mind is off the task of driving safely. Illinois has passed laws such as banning texting by all drivers, banning handheld cell phone use by all drivers, and banning all cell phone use by some drivers to try to prevent distracted driving accidents. However, not all distracted driving accidents are caused by cell phone use, and distracted driving accidents are still a significant cause of crashes on Illinois roads.
  • Drunk driving. In Illinois, it is against the law for adults over the age of 21 to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers are considered drunk with a BAC of 0.04% or higher, and drivers under the age of 21 are considered drunk if they have any alcohol in their system. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face criminal charges and may be liable in a civil personal injury lawsuit.
  • Speeding. It is the responsibility of every Illinois driver to be aware of the speed limit and to drive at a reasonable speed with regard to traffic conditions. In 2013, more than one-third of all of the Illinois accident fatalities and injuries involved a crash with a speeding driver.
  • Complicated roadways. Sometimes drivers cause catastrophic accidents because they are confused by the road signs, traffic lights, obstructed views on the road, or challenging weather conditions.
  • Drowsy drivers. Driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving while drunk. A tired driver may have decreased reaction time, may drift across lanes, may be distracted, or may fall asleep at the wheel—and any of these can cause a serious crash.
  • Teen drivers. Illinois has a graduated license system that is meant to decrease the risk for teen drivers and those with whom they share the road. While not every accident involving a teen driver is the fault of the teen, driving inexperience, distraction and negligence by teen drivers is a factor in some accidents.
  • Elderly drivers. Illinois has certain license renewal requirements in place for drivers age 75 and older that are meant to prevent senior citizens from causing dangerous crashes. As with teens, not every accident involving an elderly driver is the fault of the elderly driver. However, some older drivers may have slower response times, slower reflexes, vision problems, and other health issues that make driving challenging and accidents more likely.
  • Aggressive drivers. An impatient or an angry driver can cause a dangerous crash. For example, aggressive drivers may cause serious collisions when they follow the cars in front of them too closely, weave in and out of traffic, or fail to stop for traffic lights.

Of course, any time a driver is negligent a serious accident may occur.

But What Caused Your Crash?

Your accident may have been caused by one of the factors described above or by another form of driver negligence. In order to know what you happened in your crash, a complete investigation will need to be done. If you’ve been hurt then you deserve to have an experienced personal injury lawyer making sure that the investigation is complete and fighting for your fair and just recovery. To find out more about how an attorney can help you, please start a live chat with us via this website today.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham