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IL accident attorneyCOVID-19 has impacted people all over the world, including here in Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order in March, temporarily closing non-essential businesses such as salons, bars, and restaurants. This was made in an effort to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus. Although some of the restrictions were lifted recently, many people were urged to stay at home for the past few months. With more individuals working from home, that meant fewer commuters on the state’s highways and tollways. Although some states witnessed a decrease in traffic crashes, Illinois saw a higher number of vehicle fatalities, up 11 percent in the first quarter of 2020 according to the National Safety Council (NSC). With fewer cars on the roads, drivers may be tempted to engage in reckless driving behaviors, which can lead to car accidents with serious to fatal injuries.

Negligent Driving Behaviors

Motorists who have felt cooped up at home for months may be hitting the road just to get out of the house for a change of scenery. Drivers might be tempted to go faster than normal or above the posted speed limit since they are not sharing the road with that many other cars. They may also feel a false sense of security if they think law enforcement officers may be busy with other duties.

Distractions such as texting or talking on a cell phone take a driver’s attention and eyes away from the road. Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs significantly impairs a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Actions such as these can directly lead to an auto accident. Here are a few other behaviors that can cause a collision:

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IL accident attorneyWith fall upon us and winter approaching, parts of the country are already experiencing inclement weather. Heavy rains and winter storms can wreak havoc on driving conditions and pose a real danger to Illinois motorists. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics, more than 5.8 million vehicle crashes occur every year. Approximately 21 percent of those involved hazardous weather. Slippery or icy roads can lead to a driver losing control of his or her vehicle, resulting in car accidents with serious injuries or even fatalities. That is why it is even more important for everyone on the road to be extra alert during bad weather and drive responsibly in order to avoid a potential collision.

Weather Factors That Can Lead to Crashes

There are various conditions that bad weather causes, and it often depends on the temperature outside. Based on how warm or cold the air is, precipitation can result in fog, rain, sleet, hail, or snow. If the air temperature drops, water on pavement can turn to ice, a significant driving hazard. Below are some of the major weather conditions that occur in Illinois, which can increase the chances of an auto accident:

  • Rain and flooding: The average automobile can be swept off the road in one foot of moving water. In addition, streets covered by water can collapse. Attempting to drive through water can also stall a car’s engine, possibly leaving you stranded.
  • Snow and ice: Icy pavement lacks friction and vehicle maneuverability, increasing crash risk. It can take up to 10 times longer to stop on an icy road as it does on a dry one. Experts suggest allowing 20 seconds of time behind the car in front of you.
  • Low visibility: Foggy conditions reduce the distance a driver can see ahead of the car.
  • Strong winds: Higher vehicles are most affected by high winds, but sudden gusts can blow any automobile off course. Also, striking any type of debris that is blowing in the wind at a high speed could be fatal, so it is imperative to travel at a slower speed.

Driver Behaviors That Can Cause Collisions

Today’s traffic enforcement patrols promote safe driving techniques in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents. From posted speed limits to DUI checkpoints to electronic signage alerting drivers of slow-downs ahead, they are all meant to keep our highways safer.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerCruise control is a convenience included on many vehicles today. Cruise control is a way to automatically control the speed of your vehicle when driving. Instead of keeping your foot on the gas pedal and constantly shifting up and down a few miles per hour, you can set cruise control to stay at a more consistent speed. Many drivers use cruise control because it is convenient, allowing them to be more comfortable on long trips and it allows them to make sure they are under the speed limit. However, some drivers do not use cruise control because they worry it is more dangerous than driving normally.

Safety Depends on the Driver

A study published by a French foundation, VINCI Autoroutes Foundation for Responsible Driving, indicated that there are some disadvantages to using cruise control. The disadvantages were related more to the driver’s attentiveness than the mechanics of cruise control. When the drivers in the study had cruise control enabled, they were overall less attentive when driving and had longer reaction times.

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IL injury lawyerAccording to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 1,090 traffic fatalities in 2017 in Illinois. Traffic fatalities may occur for multiple different reasons, but one of the most common reasons is traveling over the speed limit. Speeding decreases the time drivers have to react to events around them, and the faster a vehicle is going the harder it is to stop. Drivers who speed are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident which may cause fatal injuries.

Why Do So Many Drivers Speed When Driving?

Each person may have a different reason for driving above the speed limit. Some of the most common reasons are listed below.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerThe last thing anyone wants to deal with is filing a car accident claim. Car accidents are scary business and can leave you with not only physical injuries and pain but also emotional trauma. Though not all accidents can be prevented, many accidents can be avoided through safe driving practices. Injuries sustained during car accidents can be extensive, which is why you should try to avoid risky situations in the car at all times. Here are four tips to follow to help reduce your chances of a car accident:

  1. Keep Your Attention on the Road

One of the biggest causes of accidents is distracted driving. You can be distracted by almost anything, but you should try to keep your attention on the road at all times. Many times, drivers are distracted by their cell phones, but the distraction is not always digital. Drivers can become distracted by other passengers in the vehicle, things outside of the vehicle or even something as simple as changing the air conditioning in the car.

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IL accident lawyerUnfortunately, in the United States, car crashes are not uncommon--and the majority of crashes are caused by driver error. In the U.S., 34,439 fatal car crashes occurred in 2016, taking 37,461 lives. Even if you are a responsible, safe driver and obey all traffic laws, you cannot assume that other drivers are doing the same thing. If you have been in a car crash that is not your fault, you should not be held responsible for the damages or loss of life that happen due to the crash. Understanding the common causes of crashes can help you to drive safely and can aid in filing a car accident claim if a crash resulted in damages.

1. Distracted Driving

Each year, distracted driving is the cause of more crashes. Information published by New Virginia Tech found that when drivers engaged in behavior that distracted them from driving, it more than doubled their chances of crashing. Distracted driving behaviors include:

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