Highway Car Accidents

In 1956, President Eisenhower signed into law the Federal-Aid Highway Act. Today, the roadway system that the bill established extends all over the country. It has made it easier to transport goods and travel around the whole country with ease. It allows travelers to get from place to place more quickly. Today there are nine significant highways in the state of Illinois. 

Unfortunately, traveling at high rates of speed can cause accidents, and people get involved in devastating and fatal accidents every day on America's highway system. 

If you have been injured in a highway accident, our car accident lawyers can help recover insurance money for you. In addition, it can be helpful to know what causes highway accidents and what injuries typically result from them. 

Highway accident statistics in Illinois

  • Although there was less traffic on the road in 2020 due to the pandemic, more traffic fatalities on Illinois roads than there were in 2019. This may be due to drivers speeding and not paying attention to the road because they thought traffic was light. 
  • A 2014 study showed that although only 6.7% of crashes in the Prarie State involved large trucks, they were responsible for 13% of all traffic fatalities. 
  • Fatality rates were 2.5 times higher per traveled mile on rural than on urban highways. 
  • Collector roads that connect highways to local roads see the most traffic accidents of any type of road.

Most Common Causes of Highway Accidents

There are a few different behaviors that are known to cause highway accidents. However, most of these behaviors are preventable, and engaging in them would mean the driver might be considered negligent. 

Drowsy Driving

If you have ever driven on the highway late at night or early in the morning, you may have noticed that miles and miles of the same scenery can have a hypnotic affect. You may feel your head starting to droop, and you may feel as though you are falling asleep.

 People will often drive in the middle of the night to avoid traffic and get where they are going in a hurry. Some people will drive for as long as they can to avoid the expense of a hotel room.

When people fall asleep at the wheel or lose their ability to concentrate, they can cause an accident. When you are sleepy, it also affects your hand-to-eye coordination, making your reaction time slower. 

Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents on all roadways across the country. Alcohol slows down your reaction time and blurs your vision. Drugs and alcohol can also affect eye muscle movement. As a result, you may not be able to look from side to side quickly when you are drunk.

Distracted Driving

Nowadays, everyone is attached to their cell phone. We use them to keep in touch with friends and family via text messages, email, and phone calls, and we use them to share our opinions with others via social media. 

Unfortunately, traffic accidents have gone up since the advent of the smartphone. This is because many people refuse to put their phones down when they are driving. Taking your eyes off of traffic for a second can cause a major crash. 

One of the worst texting accidents in Illinois occurred in 2010 when a 70-year-old man stepped out of his car momentarily. The Chicagoan had just been in a minor accident and wanted to check the damages. Unfortunately, he was hit and killed by a woman who was posting on Facebook at the time. 

Changing Lanes 

When a person enters the highway, they are supposed to leave the exit lane as soon as possible to make way for people who are exiting or entering. Faster drivers are expected to move towards the left. Unfortunately, some people are rather indecisive about knowing what lane they want to drive in. They may try to jockey back and forth to get into the fastest route, or they may change their mind about taking a certain exit.

Frequent or fast lane changes wreak havoc with the general flow of traffic. A driver should always check their blind spot and make sure they have enough room to change lanes. On the other hand, changing lanes too quickly may not leave other drivers the time to react when a car jumps out in front of them.

According to the NHTSA, 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020. In addition, if you lost a loved one to an accident or if you were injured yourself, you may have experienced physical and emotional pain, multiple doctor’s appointments, and lost income.

You deserve to be compensated for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and your lost wages. In Illinois, the insurance company of the driver who causes an accident is responsible for paying its associated bills.

Insurance companies do not always want to pay injured people a fair amount. If you believe an insurance company is not offering you a fair amount of money, you need to give us a call before you accept their settlement offer.

We bring years of experience in personal injury law to the table. We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and represent you in court if you need to file a lawsuit.

Highway accidents happen every day, and when one happens to you, you should get the money you need to make a complete recovery. 

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