Traffic accidents (as a subset of general accidents) are one of the leading causes of death in Illinois and all across the United States. The good news is that Illinois isn’t the U.S. state with the highest number of motor vehicle accidents (that title belongs to South Carolina), nor is it in the top 10.
However, that doesn’t mean that traffic accidents are nonexistent in Illinois. In fact, the occurrence of car and car-related accidents has increased over the last few years. Not all accidents are fatal, and some only cause minor injuries— if any at all. Here’s a look at the most dangerous types of car accidents in Illinois.
Vulnerable Road Users
Vulnerable road users include bicyclists and pedestrians, and they’re considered the most vulnerable because they have the least amount of protection around them.Oftentimes, those in motor vehicles aren’t aware of bicyclists and pedestrians on the road, and when these individuals are hit, the injuries are more severe. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Left-hand turns
- Impaired driving
- Rolling stops
- Unmarked bicycle lanes/crosswalks
Bicycle crashes are much less common than pedestrian accidents in Illinois, as pedestrian accidents increased from 2020 to 2021. Illinois law states that drivers (and bicyclists) must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. They must also be aware of bicyclists using the marked bicycle lanes. Bicyclists also have laws that they must follow, which are similar to the same traffic laws that drivers must follow.
While traffic accidents involving vulnerable road users can cause the most serious injuries and medical emergencies, accidents that involve big trucks (semi-trucks/18-wheelers/tractor-trailers) always cause serious injuries, no matter what type of motor vehicle (or non-motor vehicle) is involved. This is because these big rigs are significantly larger and heavier than all other vehicles on the road. Drivers of these trucks are specifically trained and are careful drivers, but fatigued driving is typically what causes these accidents. Other causes include:
- Failing to properly train drivers
- Other drivers driving in the blind spot
- Other drivers driving too close to the semi-truck
- Poorly maintained trucks
- Truck drivers driving too fast
- Truck drivers not adjusting to road and weather conditions
In Illinois, the majority of semi-truck accidents occur in the Chicago Metro Area, particularly along I-94, I-90, I-88, and I-80. Highways that stretch long distances are notorious for seeing semi-truck accidents.
Motorcyclists can also be considered vulnerable road users like bicyclists and pedestrians. Even though they ride a motor vehicle, they still don’t have the same amount of protection around them as those in other motor vehicles. Also, pedestrians and bicyclists have designated lanes for travel, whereas motorcyclists share the road with cars. This makes it much more likely for them to be hit by a car.
The biggest cause of motorcycle-related traffic accidents is car drivers not seeing the motorcyclist. Motorcyclists can easily see all of the cars on the road, but the same can’t be said for car drivers. Distracted and reckless driving are the biggest reasons why car drivers may hit motorcyclists. Because of this, motorcycle-related traffic accidents make up about 15% of all accident fatalities in Illinois.
Read Also: The Best Way to Deal With Car
Finally, car accidents can also be very dangerous. The most common types of car accidents that occur in Illinois are t-bone accidents, single-vehicle, and rollover accidents, rear-end collisions, multi-vehicle crashes, and head-on collisions. Again, distracted and reckless driving are two of the biggest causes of these accidents, but impaired driving and bad weather/road conditions also contribute to car accidents.
A specific type of car accident that is becoming increasingly prevalent across the U.S. is rideshare accidents. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft allow individuals to use their cars as taxis, essentially, to make money by transporting others to their destinations. However, passengers who were involved in a traffic accident in a rideshare service can also receive compensation for their injuries by contacting an Uber accident attorney— who usually specializes in all major rideshare services.
No matter what type of transportation you’re using in Illinois, there’s a likelihood of being in an accident so it’s important to know what to do. You should first call 911 to have the police and other emergency services sent to the scene. Then you should gather as much information about the accident as possible. Finally, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in traffic accidents to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.