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IL injury lawyerDriving a vehicle is dangerous for a number of reasons. Other drivers, road conditions, or mechanical failure are just some of the things that can cause a car accident while driving. The injuries or deaths due to many car accidents are preventable, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is constantly working to improve road safety to reduce these injuries and deaths.

The Illinois DOT strategic highway safety plan has five main categories in their mission to make roads as safe as possible, which are explained in depth below.

Engineering

The engineering aspect focuses on working to improve the roadway itself and the safety features on the roadway. Evaluating and updating the infrastructure of roads is key in this step since the road needs to be safe in order for the drivers to be safe. Some examples of engineering working to make roads safe are the implementation of rumble strips in the center and shoulder of more roads, updating and implementing more markings on roads, and adding more roundabouts.

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IL crash lawyerVehicle collisions are often traumatic incidents which can cause injury or death. Car accidents themselves are bad enough, but if your vehicle rolls over it can be even more traumatic. Safety measures have advanced greatly in recent years, but a rollover is still one of the most deadly types of serious crashes.

Even though vehicle rollovers only happen in about 3% of major crashes, they cause around 30% of deaths in passenger vehicles. Injuries or death due to vehicle rollovers can be decreased with more people wearing seat belts, better safety measures, and vehicle designs that focus on rollover avoidance. Until more of those measures are put in place, drivers should focus on learning what causes rollovers and how to prevent them.

Causes

Most rollovers are caused by a vehicle swerving onto something such as a median, curb, or pothole. When a vehicle swerves onto a pothole or something similar, it is called “tripping” because the vehicle is tripping over the obstacle and rolling over. When vehicles “trip” over obstacles, they are thrown off balance and much more likely to roll over.

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IL accident lawyerAutonomous vehicles are no longer only present in science fiction. Vehicle manufacturers are constantly looking for new innovations and ways to sell their product, and self-driving vehicles are on their radar. Many manufacturers already boast some basic self-driving mechanics, such as automatic lane change or self-park features, but a true and fully autonomous vehicle is not common on the automobile market yet. The reason for a lack of fully autonomous vehicles is most likely a combination of factors, such as technology limitations, cost considerations, and the general sentiment in America about self-driving cars, fearing that they are more likely to cause injury than a car they can drive themselves.

A Tough Sell

A recent survey by Gallup, a polling and research company, indicated that many Americans do not plan on using a driverless vehicle even if they become common in the next 20 years. Seventy-five percent of the people who were polled indicated they would prefer to own or lease a car they personally drive instead of a driverless vehicle.

The breakdown of demographics showed quite a difference in people’s opinions on driverless cars.  Fifty-three percent of men surveyed said they would use a driverless vehicle at some point, while only 40 percent of women said the same. Age is a factor as well, with 55 percent of adults younger than 50 stating they would use driverless technology either as soon as they could or after waiting a period of time.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerMany people that drive are often guilty of some type of distracted driving, whether that be eating, drinking, or taking a quick peek at your cell phone. Another form of distracted driving is driving while drowsy or sleepy. If you are close to falling asleep, your reaction time will be slowed, you will be less likely to make good decisions while driving, and you will not be as attentive as you should be on the road. The combination of these factors significantly increases the likelihood of an automobile accident and personal injury.

The Statistics

Drowsy driving should be avoided to make sure your risk of collision and injury is lessened, but data shows it does happen occasionally. According to data analyzed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 adult drivers stated they have fallen asleep while driving in the 30 days before they were polled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also estimated that drowsy driving caused 800 fatalities in collisions in 2013. That statistic uses current data on drowsy driving, but the NHTSA believes drowsy driving is responsible for up to 6,000 fatal collisions each year.

Warning Signs and Prevention

Identifying the warning signs of drowsy driving and learning your body well enough to know when you are impaired is helpful when driving at any time, night or day.

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IL injury lawyerAutomobile crashes can happen for many reasons, such as distracted driving, dangerous road conditions, or negligence to follow the rules of the road. When a vehicle collision does happen, the severity of the damage is often based on the quality of the safety measures included in the vehicle. Automobile safety has been a concern for as long as cars have been around, and with the advances in safety in more recent vehicles, cars are safer than ever before.

New vs. Old

A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that drivers are more likely to be injured driving older vehicles. The study researched the outcomes of crashes with drivers driving vehicles from model year 1985-2012 and focused on fatal crashes between 2005-2011.

The data analyzed indicated that 26% of drivers wearing a seatbelt and driving a car less than a year old were killed, compared to 47% of drivers wearing a seatbelt and driving a vehicle over 21 years old. However, there is not as much of an increase among drivers not wearing a seatbelt. The data gathered says 77% of unrestrained collisions had fatalities in vehicles less than a year old compared to 81% in vehicles older than 21 years. The lack of increase is presumably because the safety benefits of newer vehicles do not have the same effect if the driver is not wearing a seatbelt during the collision.

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