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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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Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

IL accident lawyerDriving is an inherently dangerous activity if you consider how fast vehicles are moving, possible road hazards, and how careless other people are when they drive. However, modern automobiles have made great strides in safety features which protect drivers and their passengers. Not all of these safety features can be present on every vehicle on the road, such as motorcycles. Even though motor vehicle safety has improved tremendously over the last 20 years, statistics for morbidity and personal injury in motorcycle accidents has remained about the same or increased because there is only so much motorcycle manufacturers can do to improve the safety of their products.

Injury Cost

Motorcycle collisions are more costly to treat than car collisions. According to a study done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the difference is about $4,569 to treat injuries over a period of two years after collision for motorcycle accidents. The figure for car accidents over that same period was $2,349. The difference in medical costs could be because there are fewer safety features and protection in a motorcycle, so if there is a crash a person is more likely to hit the road or other vehicle themselves instead of the car hitting it.

Injury Rate

The study by CMAJ also found quite a difference in the difference in injury rate between motorcycles and automobiles. The motorcycle injury rate was 2,194 people out of every 100,000 registered owners, but the car owner injury rate was only 718 people out of 100,000 registered owners. The increased injury rate for motorcycles can again be attributed to the fact that there is less protection between their bodies and the object they are hitting. Helmets will help protect your head, which is important, but many motorcyclists do not wear other protective padding on their bodies.

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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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