Accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in Illinois, and the United States, and traffic accidents make up the majority of those accidents. While Illinois isn’t in the top 10 U.S. states for traffic accidents, they still happen and have increased in recent years. Some accidents result in minimal damage and no injuries, while others can be fatal. Here’s a look at three different types of common traffic accidents in Illinois.
#1: Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
Bicyclists and pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users of all, even though they don’t use the road like motor vehicles (i.e., bicyclists use designated bike lanes, and pedestrians use sidewalks and crosswalks). However, this does not mean bicyclists and pedestrians aren’t ever injured in traffic accidents. Both pedestrian and bicycle accidents have increased in Illinois over the past few years. Some of the most common reasons for these types of accidents include:
- Drivers making rolling stops
- Drivers not yielding to bicyclists or pedestrians
- Unmarked crosswalks and bicycle lanes
Although motor vehicle drivers are typically at fault when these accidents occur, bicyclists and pedestrians can also be at fault in certain situations. For example, while Illinois law states that all drivers must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, pedestrians must pay drivers if they’re not already in a crosswalk. Bicyclists have to follow many of the same laws as motor vehicle drivers, so an accident can happen if they’re not obeying the law. Also, bicycle accidents can happen between two or more bicyclists or bicyclists and pedestrians, but pedestrian accidents always involve a bicycle or motor vehicle.
#2: Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicles in traffic include cars (sedans, passenger trucks, SUVs, crossovers, etc.), buses, and motorcycles. These are the most common types of traffic accidents in Illinois and all across the U.S. Motor vehicle accidents can involve one (single-vehicle crash), two, or more (multi-vehicle crashes) vehicle in a T-bone (sideswipe), rear-end, head-on, or even rollover accident. Some of the most common reasons/causes for motor vehicle accidents include:
- Distracted driving (i.e., texting and driving)
- Fatigued driving (from traveling long distances)
- Impaired driving (i.e., drunk driving)
- Reckless driving (i.e., speeding and breaking other traffic laws)
Motorcycle accidents are a more severe type of motor vehicle accident because these road users have less protection around them than car drivers. Motorcycle-involved accidents happen for the same reason as other types of motor vehicle accidents, but they can also occur simply because a driver didn’t see the motorcycle. This means that the motorcyclist is usually not at fault because they can see other vehicles easier than the other cars can see them. Because of this, motorcycle-involved traffic accidents make up about 15% of all road fatalities in Illinois— and nonfatalities result in more severe injuries more often than other types of motor vehicles.
#3: Semi-Truck Accidents
Semi-truck (also known as 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and big rigs) accidents are a more severe type of motor vehicle accident. These big trucks are significantly larger than even the most giant SUVs on the road, meaning they can do more severe damage in a traffic accident. The good news is that these trucks only make up about 8% of traffic on the road— but they account for more than 25% of all traffic fatalities. Semi-truck accidents are more likely to occur on highways and interstates, with I-80, I-88, I-90, and I-94 being the interstates that see the most casualties in Illinois.
Some of the most common reasons for these accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Large blind spots
- Inclement Weather
- Poorly trained drivers
- Trucks going too fast
The average semi-truck weighs around 80,000 pounds and travels approximately 60-70 miles per hour on interstates. When a truck this big going this fast hits a passenger car, serious injuries are almost always sustained— if not a fatality. This type of accident can also involve multiple people in multiple vehicles. Each can be eligible for financial compensation when contacting a Chicago truck accident lawyer or personal injury lawyer in another Illinois city.
Most traffic accidents can be prevented if all drivers practice safe driving. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case resulting in traffic accidents in Illinois increasing in recent years. If you’re involved in a traffic accident in Illinois, make sure to call 911, get as much information about the accident scene as possible, and speak to a personal injury lawyer before accepting any financial compensation from an insurance company.