Although Illinois isn’t the U.S. state with the highest number of motor vehicle accidents (that title goes to South Carolina), the state did see an 18% increase in traffic accidents in 2020. Here’s a look at the most common types and causes of accidents in Illinois, and what to do if you’re involved in one.
Types of Automobile Accidents
This type of accident occurs when two cars driving in opposite directions crash into each other. Head-on collisions aren’t as common as other types of accidents in Illinois, but they do happen. They tend to be the result of a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road while trying to pass another and causing severe injuries and vehicle damage.
This type of accident is one of the most common types that occur in Illinois. Rear-end collisions happen when one car drives into the back of another car, usually as a result of distracted driving. Fortunately, this type of collision usually causes the least amount of injuries, but they can still do a lot of damage to a vehicle.
This type of accident occurs when one car hits the side of another, usually at (or close to) a 90-degree angle. Side-impact accidents are pretty common in Illinois, and they tend to cause severe bodily injury and vehicle damage.
As the name suggests, rollover accidents occur when a vehicle rolls over, and this can be caused by one of many different types of hits. This type of accident also tends to cause severe injuries and damage.
Single-Vehicle Accidents and Chain Reactions
Single-vehicle accidents involve only one vehicle, meaning that the car has hit a tree, building, or other structure, guard rails, or any other stationary thing. This type of accident can be either fatal or nonfatal and can cause minimal to severe vehicle damage.
Chain reactions can happen as a result of a single or multi-vehicle crash. Crashes of all types can lead to other crasheoccurring, or chain reactions can be the result of one car rear-ending another, which then rear-ends another, and so forth.
Causes of Car Accidents
This is the most common cause of motor vehicle accidents in Illinois and all over the U.S. Texting while driving is one of the most common reasons for distracted driving, with being on the phone for other reasons (i.e., talking, GPS, listening to music, etc.) also being common. Other accessories (such as paper maps), talking to other passengers in the car, eating food, and applying makeup can also be distractions while driving.
Drunk Driving/Driving Under the Influence
Being intoxicated with alcohol or any other substance at certain levels is considered driving under the influence. These substances can significantly reduce reaction time and judgment, making driving dangerous and even deadly.
In Illinois, reckless driving is defined as driving with a willful disregard for the safety of other people or property. Speeding is a form of reckless driving, as excessive speeds tend to cause more bodily injury and property damage.
Other causes of car accidents include driver fatigue and inclement weather. Most car accidents can be prevented by following all traffic laws (including speed limits), not driving when fatigued or intoxicated, and using extra caution in bad weather and construction zones.
What to Do if You’re in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Illinois
Whenever you’re in a car accident, the first thing you should do is call 911 because they’ll be able to send police officers, ambulances, and any other emergency care needed. In Illinois, the police must be notified if the accident caused injuries or death and more than $1,500 in property damage.
Visit a Doctor
It’s also a good idea to visit a doctor if you were in an accident, even if you don’t think you’re injured. Not all injuries (i.e., soft tissue injuries) are apparent right after an accident but may become very apparent much later. X-rays and other imaging tests may or may not be able to confirm these injuries.
Call a Lawyer
It’s also a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer that handles car accidents. They have the expertise to get you the compensation needed when it comes to soft tissue injuries and what the insurance company wants to pay. Unfortunately, not all parties have your best interest at heart after an accident, but a personal injury lawyer can help.
Although motor vehicle accidents can be prevented for the most part, they still happen in Illinois and all over the U.S. This is why it’s important to understand the causes of the different types of car accidents and what to do if you’re in one.