Car accidents are one of the leading causes of untimely death and injury in the United States each year. Big cities are particularly at risk for pedestrians getting struck in crosswalks and while jaywalking illegally. In fact, in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, with millions of drivers on the road each day, there is a small but significant risk for an accident that could cause severe injury even though you might be enclosed in the protective shell of your passenger vehicle or light truck. When drivers understand some of the most common reasons why car accidents occur and what causes car accidents, then can they become more preventable.
Below are the 10 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Major U.S. Cities Like Chicago:
Whether through forgetfulness or haste, countless drivers ignore the speed limits every single day. They fail to realize that posted speed limits are there for a reason; they dictate the maximum speed a car could reasonably be controlled at for that stretch of road’s layout. The rate of speed and increased risk of an accident go hand in hand. Maintain safe speeds when driving to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers cause a significant number of crashes on the country’s roads every year. Distracted driving is a broad term that authorities use to describe a situation when a motorist takes his or her eyes or attention off the road. Cellphones, passengers, car entertainment systems and roadside accidents are all common distractions that can cause serious accidents.
Out of all distractions, texting while driving is the absolute worst. The National Safety Council predicts that 25% or more of all crashes in the United States involve at least one texting driver. Further proving that cell phone distractions are one of the most dangerous risk factors on the road today. In some areas, cell phones are prohibited from being used while driving, but many, especially young adults, still use their smartphones while on the road, anyway. Calling and texting while maneuvering through traffic is a major hazard to avoid.
Driving While Fatigue
Drivers often want to push on that one last hour to get to their destination. Drivers who are tired cause a large portion of serious accidents. According to the NHTSA, driving while fatigued is most common from around midnight to early morning. Tired drivers, particularly on long distance trips, cause nearly 3% of all road fatalities and are responsible for 100,000 crashes per year. If you or the driver of your car shows signs of fatigue, pull over and switch drivers, or take an extended break before getting back behind the wheel.
Driving Under the Influence or Intoxicated
Drinking and driving is one of the most recognizable causes of severe car accidents. While most people are aware of the dangers of driving while drunk, the problem persists, and DUI accidents affect many innocent drivers in the state of Illinois every year. Estimates hover around 300,000 incidents of drunk driving in America every day, despite the fact that drunk driving accidents are some of the most deadly. If you have had anything to drink, take a taxi or give your keys to a sober friend. It is not worth the risk.
Changing lanes too quickly, speeding well over the limit, and acting aggressive on the roads can lead to horrible accidents. It is important to take your time and remain calm while driving to avoid needless accidents caused by simple carelessness. Many drivers overestimate their own ability on the roads and drive recklessly or at high speeds. Speed limits and warning signs are in place to keep drivers safe while on the roads, and it is important to adhere to all of the rules of the road for your safety, as well as for the safety of those around you.
Damaged or Defective Auto Parts
Improper manufacture of car or truck parts at the factory or their poor installation could cause many problems. There are many cases where a car company or subsidiary was not responsible and could/should be held liable for their error. Sometimes accidents are caused by flaws in the car itself. While you cannot always avoid this, make sure to take note of any recalls in the news and take your car in for regular maintenance.
Along with issues of faulty car construction, the same could happen with the road. Poor paving, signage, or design can all play major factors in causing car accidents and injury. The government agency that constructed such a defective driving surface can be held liable. Try to drive slow in unknown areas or where roads look especially uneven to protect your vehicle from massive potholes or bumps.
The weather is a common determinant of car accidents, especially in Chicago. Rain, snow, and early morning frost might be lovely to look at but it throws even the best driver’s off their game and causes them to lose control of their vehicles. Car accidents caused by inclement weather often involve multiple automobiles, or just one driver crashing into property or foliage. In Chicago there can be conditions like “black ice” and many other hazards to be prepared for in the winter. It may be helpful to take a cab or have a relative drive for you if vising from out of state, especially if you are not use to the weather condition in Chicago.
Construction Zone Hazards
States and local work crews try their best to keep construction zones clear and safe. Sometimes the way a construction zone is set up can be confusing. Follow the cones as well as possible and be aware of other drivers who may be confused. Unfortunately, when the area is not safely marked and cordoned off, drivers may accidentally drive into work zones and not even realize it. Collisions with unfinished pavement, equipment, or even workers are all possible. It is especially important to drive slowly in these areas and to give the task at hand, driving, your full attention.
Chicago Car Accident? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!
If you remember these risks and do all you can to prevent them, you will be much less likely to get in a car accident in Chicago. However, not all accidents are preventable. Just because you are careful does not mean that you can assure all other drivers on the road will do the same thing. If you are in a car crash, it may not be your fault, and you should not be held responsible for the damages. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident in Chicago, contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our warrior personal injury lawyers. If he/she agrees to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case! Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!