Unfortunately, car accidents occur all over Illinois every day, including in Naperville. Even the safest driver cannot prevent accidents. According to this personal injury law firm, understanding the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents can help you avoid a possible crash. As stated by the Federal Highway Administration, more than 36,000 people have died in car accidents from 33,244 motor vehicle collisions in the United States in 2019. In Illinois, more than 1,000 people died in 939 fatal crashes that same year.
Accidents are still prevalent even with advances in car technology, more robust safety standards, and countless public awareness campaigns. Many car crashes are preventable, and most are caused by human error. These are some of the most common causes of car accidents in Naperville, Illinois.
It comes as no surprise that distracted driving is one of the foremost causes of car accidents nationwide. Texting and other phone use are the primary distractions that lead to fatal car crashes. Sending or reading a message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds, and if you are driving at 55 miles/hour, that is like traveling the length of a football field with your eyes closed. That means an accident is almost inevitable.
Phones are not the only things that distract people from driving. Other causes of distracted driving include eating, applying makeup, watching a video, talking with other passengers, brushing hair, or adjusting onboard electronics.
Driving under drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous and against the law. Nevertheless, many Americans get behind the wheel after drinking too much or while impaired by narcotics. According to the NHTSA, drunk drivers kill almost 30 people every day, meaning that every 48 minutes in the country, someone does not come home to their family due to an intoxicated motorist. In Illinois, drunk drivers killed 291 people in 2018, as reported by the Illinois Secretary of State.
A fatigued driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers who have been awake for 17 hours straight will experience the same motor, visual, and cognitive impairments as drivers with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05.
Drowsy or fatigued driving is especially problematic with truck drivers, as they usually have very long hours. While federal laws limit the time truck drivers can be behind the wheel, some push the limits, resulting in catastrophic accidents involving multiple cars and fatalities.
Speeding and Aggressive Driving
It is estimated that almost two-thirds of all U.S. drivers traveling highways and roads exceed the speed limit at any given time. While most take such conduct for granted and speed without incidents, speeding remains a common factor in many car accidents. A speeding driver has less reaction time for sudden slowdowns or stops ahead of them. Moreover, speeding dramatically increases the chance that a crash results in the death of a passenger or driver.
Driving is a privilege instead of a right, yet too often, drivers disregard their duty to protect the safety of others and engage in behavior that endangers themselves and those around them. While some speed limits may seem inconvenient, especially when running late, they exist for a reason.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Dangerous road and weather conditions can also lead to plenty of car accidents. That is why drivers should adjust their behavior and be even more cautious when driving through construction zones, in bad weather, or other hazardous conditions. However, too many drivers act like they are on a smooth open road on a sunny day. Failing to account for dangerous or unfavorable conditions or engaging in behaviors such as impaired driving or speeding is reckless and negligent. If the accident results in a fatality, it can be grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Violating a traffic regulation or law is also a primary reason for car accidents in Naperville, Illinois. Traffic violations can include anything from running a red light to speeding, failure to yield, or driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. Drivers who disobey traffic regulations and laws can cause severe accidents.
If you have been in a car collision that is not your fault, you should not be held accountable for the damages or loss of life due to the accident. A car accident can be emotionally stressful and financially draining, resulting in high medical bills and leaving you unable to work. If this is your case, getting a car accident lawyer on your side is vital.