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Crystal Lake Personal Injury Attorneys

Illinois is currently experiencing a spike in traffic fatalities. According to Randy Blankenhorn, head of the Illinois Department of Transportation, 534 car accident fatalities were reported in the state during the approximate first half of 2016. In contrast, there had only been 492 by that point in 2015, a difference of nine percent.

This phenomenon is occurring in urban, suburban, and rural areas alike. It has been attributed to multiple factors, such as low gas prices and milder winter weather leading to more drivers on the state's roadways. As a motorist, it is important that you are always aware of the hazards facing you on the roadway. Whether there are 100 other vehicles on the road with you or only one other, you can take steps to reduce your chance of being involved in a car accident and potentially suffering an injury or losing your life.

Illinois Traffic Fatality Statistics

As stated above, the number of highway traffic deaths between January 1st and July 15th rose 9% from 2015 to 2016. Other traffic fatality and collision statistics of note include:

  • In 2015, a total of 998 people died in traffic accidents in Illinois
  • 2015 was the seventh consecutive year of fewer than 1,000 car accident fatalities reported in Illinois
  • In 2015, drivers and passengers in 290 of the fatal crashes were found to have used their seatbelts correctly when their crashes occurred
  • 129 of the reported traffic fatalities involved an unlicensed driver, and
  • In 2015, a total of 281,788 car collisions were reported.

Not every car accident leads to a fatality. In fact, not every accident causes an injury. In many cases, the only damage suffered is damage to one or both of the vehicles involved in the collision. But when a car accident does cause an injury, it can potentially cause the victim to suffer lifelong consequences like paralysis, a phobia of driving, loss of a limb, or severe cosmetic consequences like scars and burns.

Ways to Stay Safe on the Road

As a driver, you have the duty to protect other drivers, their passengers, and pedestrians from harm by exercising caution and obeying the rules of the road while you are driving. Failing to uphold this duty is known as negligence and it is the basis of a personal injury claim.

Although you can uphold your duty to prevent accidents, you cannot control other drivers' behavior. Because of this, the best way for you to protect yourself from being involved in a car accident is to be a conscientious, proactive, yet defensive driver. A few key tips to follow include:

  • Be aware of the weather conditions before you depart and drive according to them. When there is snow or ice on the ground, drive more slowly and give any cars ahead of you ample following distance
  • Always drive well-rested. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. If you feel tired while driving, pull off and get yourself a coffee or a snack high in protein, like a stick of beef jerky. If you need to, take a short nap before resuming driving
  • Unless you have a hands-free headset or system in your vehicle, do not use your cell phone while driving, and
  • Obey the posted traffic signs. Speeding, running red lights, and failing to yield where necessary can put you and others in danger of being involved in an accident.

If you are Involved in a Car Accident

Stop the car immediately and if you can, pull off the road to a median or a parking lot. If you cannot do this safely, do not attempt to. If anybody needs immediate medical attention, call 911 to have an ambulance dispatched to the scene.

Next, call the local police to have an officer sent to the scene. He or she will file the official police report for the accident. Do not leave without a copy of this report because it will be a piece of evidence to use to support your claim later. Also, be sure to gather photographs of the accident, the other party's insurance information, and contact information for any witnesses to the accident to use as evidence later.

After leaving the scene, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor's prompt diagnosis and treatment will not only give you a better chance of making a full recovery, it will serve as an important piece of evidence for your claim. After you have received treatment, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer about pursuing a personal injury claim.

Work with a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

A car accident can result in a life-changing or even life-threatening injury. If you have been injured in a car accident, you need to seek medical attention for your injury as soon as possible. Only after you have received appropriate medical attention should you consider pursuing a personal injury claim. When you are ready to do this, speak with a member of our team of experienced Crystal Lake personal injury lawyers at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC.

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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