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Tips For Staying Safe on Illinois Roads

The first thing that comes to mind every time you get in a car probably isn’t worrying about getting into an accident. You’re more likely thinking about the day’s list of errands or if traffic is going to make you late. 

However, with an estimated 6,200 car accident injuries in 2021, maybe the possibility of being involved in a vehicle collision should be something you think about.

You expect the number of car accidents to increase a little bit in the winter. Ice and snow-covered roads are common and drivers can easily lose control of their vehicles. While bad weather can be a contributing factor, not all vehicle collisions occur in the winter. So, what are the other common types of car accidents and how can you stay safer on Illinois roads?

Rear-End Collisions

According to the Department of Transportation (DoT), rear-end collisions account for an estimated 40% of vehicle accidents in the U.S. A rear-end collision occurs when the vehicle behind hits the lead car. This type of accident can happen almost everywhere, from parking lots and neighborhood streets to busy highways.

Rear-end collisions often range in severity from minor to catastrophic. A fender bender in a parking lot typically results in minor damage. However, a rear-end accident on the freeway can be catastrophic due to the higher rate of speed.

While you can’t prevent other drivers from hitting the rear of your vehicle, you can take steps to avoid colliding with a vehicle in front of you. Always pay attention to your surroundings. Sometimes, lead vehicles can suddenly come to a stop. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others on the road. Most importantly, don’t engage in distracted driving behavior.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on vehicle collisions are devastating auto accidents and can often result in catastrophic injuries along with substantial property damage. A head-on collision occurs when one vehicle hits the front of another vehicle. Unfortunately, fatalities can also occur in a head-on collision. In 2021 10.9% of head-on collisions resulted in a fatality.

Head-on collisions often occur when a driver crosses into oncoming traffic. Going the wrong way on a one-way street is another common cause of this type of vehicle accident. Along with paying attention to all traffic signs, especially ones indicating one-way streets, you also want to avoid becoming distracted while you’re behind the wheel. You can easily cross into another lane when you take your eyes off the road.

T-Bone (Side Impact Accidents)

Side impact or T-bone accidents typically occur at intersections. Whether it’s a four-way stop sign or a traffic light, sometimes drivers aren’t paying attention. 

As they barrel through the intersection, they’re risking striking a vehicle with the right of way on its side. The reverse can also happen. The vehicle with the right of way hits the car that fails to stop. When one vehicle strikes another at a 90-degree angle it’s known as a T-bone or side-impact accident.

The extent of any injuries and property damage typically depends on the speed the vehicles are traveling at the time of the accident. Injuries can be severe and fatalities can also occur.

A good way of reducing your risk of being involved in a side-impact accident is to always check for oncoming traffic, even when you have the right of way. Don’t automatically presume other drivers will stop even if they have a red light.

Single Vehicle Accidents

Yes, you can get into an accident even if you’re the only driver on the road. You can hit a hazard like a tree branch in the road. A fence, guard rail, and even the support pole for an overpass can also be part of a single vehicle accident.

Most single car collisions are caused by distracted driving. Even glancing down at your phone for a second can lead to a collision. Bad weather, fatigue, and being under the influence, are other common causes of single-vehicle collisions.

Even though you can’t control the weather, you can take steps to avoid this type of vehicle accident. Pull over if the weather is preventing you from seeing the road. Other safety tips include never driving if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’re feeling overly sleepy, it’s a good idea to stay off of the roads.

Protecting Your Rights After a Car Accident

Despite taking all necessary precautions, being involved in a traffic accident still remains a possibility. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s essential to recognize that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any other damages incurred. 

Therefore, you should seek out guidance from an experienced accident attorney who can provide invaluable assistance in understanding your legal rights and exploring the full scope of available remedies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and the support you need during this challenging time.

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