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Four Car Accident Injuries That Can Take Time to NoticeVehicle crashes range in severity from the catastrophic to the relatively minor. Though any type of collision can be startling, you may feel some relief if you came away from the incident seemingly unscathed. However, some vehicle accident injuries are subtle yet still serious. Delaying treatment of hidden injuries may cause your condition to grow worse and make it more difficult to connect the injury to your crash, which could work against you if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who was responsible for the crash. Here are four subtle injuries to watch for following an accident:

  1. Spinal Injuries: People often suffer whiplash after being in a front-end or rear-end collision. The force of any collision and the way it jostles your body can cause strain and damage to your neck and back. Even if your spine is not directly damaged, inflammation of your muscles can put pressure on your spine. Look for stiffness and soreness in your neck, shoulders, and back and numbness or tingling in your limbs.
  2. Brain Injuries: People can suffer traumatic brain injuries during a collision from whiplash or hitting their head. It can take days or weeks for symptoms of a brain injury to show, such as persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea, sensory loss, memory loss, and unexplained mood changes.
  3. Internal Bleeding: Pain in your abdomen may not immediately seem related to your accident but could be a sign of damage to your internal organs. Internal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening injury that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the symptoms can start out slow, catching people off-guard.
  4. Joint Injuries: A collision can cause trauma to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments connecting your major joints, such as your knees and elbows. You may tear or strain this soft tissue without immediately realizing it. However, the injury will become more noticeable in a couple of days after the tissue becomes inflamed.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

The adrenaline your body produces after the shock of your vehicle accident can mask injuries that otherwise would have been noticeable. If you feel any pain or discomfort after being in an accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you have an injury related to your accident. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you connect your injury to the negligent actions of the person who is liable for your accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Breaking Down Illinois Vehicle Crash StatisticsThe Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reported that there were more than 319,000 crashes involving vehicles in the state in 2018. About 21 percent of those crashes resulted in injury, and less than one percent involved fatalities. If you are one of the unfortunate people who are injured in a vehicle accident, you may be able to recover personal injury compensation if another driver was at fault. You can also file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence. You cannot predict whether you will be involved in a traffic crash, but IDOT’s 2018 Crash Facts and Statistics provides interesting information on when crashes most often happen, what types of crashes are most common, and who gets injured.

When Crashes Take Place

You might think that the majority of traffic crashes happen late at night on the weekends because that is when people are most likely to be drinking and driving. Actually, the two days of the week with the most crashes are Friday and Thursday, and more than two-thirds of crashes occur from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. There are more people driving during the daytime on weekdays, and rush hour traffic causes numerous crashes. However, crashes involving death or severe injury were more likely to happen from 4 p.m. to 3:59 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Types of Crashes

The most common types of vehicle crashes were, in order:

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What Makes Rush Hour Driving Dangerous?For most people, rush hour is their least favorite time of day to drive anywhere. The periods between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m. on weekdays are when most people are traveling to and from work, causing heavy traffic congestion on roadways where you can normally travel at a high speed. Unfortunately, traffic crashes are common occurrences during rush hour because it combines several factors that increase the risk of getting into an accident. By being aware of these factors, you may be able to avoid your own traffic crash:

  1. There Is Less Room to Maneuver: Rear-ending a vehicle is one of the most common types of accidents during rush hour. Vehicles are often packed together, leaving less space than normal between them. When a vehicle in front of you unexpectedly stops or enters your lane, you have less time to respond and avoid an accident. You can better avoid hitting a vehicle by leaving extra space in front of you and driving cautiously.
  2. Everyone Is in a Hurry: Rush hour drivers are anxious to get to work on time or get home after work. Slow traffic makes many drivers impatient, which leads to speeding up whenever they get the chance and looking to change lanes in hopes that a different lane will be quicker. Though you may be in a hurry to reach your destination, your safety is your primary concern while driving. Avoid changing lanes unless it is part of your travel route. If slow traffic is a frequent problem, try leaving earlier to give yourself more time.
  3. Road Rage Can Flare Up: Some drivers’ reactions to rush hour traffic go beyond impatience. They may become furious at other drivers and the situation in general. Drivers with road rage are more likely to behave aggressively and make poor decisions. Try to remain calm and not engage with angry drivers.
  4. Sun Glare Is at Its Worst: Rush hour traffic often coincides with the times of day when the sun is rising and setting. Depending on the direction you are driving, you may have a problem with sunlight shining in your eyes and blinding you. It is important to use the sun visors in your vehicle and wear sunglasses.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

Suffering a vehicle accident during rush hour may cause serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. If another driver was at fault for the crash, a Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive compensation for your medical expenses and personal suffering. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Recognizing and Guarding Yourself Against Drivers with Road RageAccording to a recent survey of drivers in the U.S., 82 percent confessed to having road rage in the past year. When you are in a bad mood, it is easy for the minor annoyances of driving to make you angry. Problems arise when road rage turns into aggressive driving. People who drive aggressively and fueled by anger are more likely to cause a traffic accident, which may seriously injure someone. It is important to be able to identify aggressive drivers on the road and to know how to protect yourself against them.

Signs of Aggression

Drivers who are experiencing road rage will often travel at high speeds and show little regard for the safety of others. Aggressive driving behavior may include:

  • Tailgating, which is following a vehicle too closely
  • Excessive use of the car horn
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Obscene or threatening gestures and language

In extreme cases of road rage, the driver may target someone and attempt to cause them harm, such as using a weapon or exiting their vehicle with the intent to start a fight.

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Traffic Fatalities Declining in Most Statistical CategoriesThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that 36,560 people were killed as a result of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2018. While any amount of traffic deaths is tragic, the 2018 number was actually a 2.4 percent decrease from 2017. Though not always steady, the number of motor vehicle fatalities reported each year has decreased by almost 18 percent since 1975. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is a third of what it was in 1975, which is more impressive when you consider that the annual VMT has more than doubled since then. In other words, Americans are driving more than ever and still decreasing the number of traffic deaths. There are other findings from the NHTSA report that are worth exploring.

Why the Decrease?

There are several explanations for why the rate of traffic fatalities has decreased in the last 40 years:

  • There have been effective public awareness campaigns about wearing safety belts and avoiding impaired driving.
  • Enforcing traffic laws, such as tickets for not wearing a safety belt, has discouraged the risky behavior.
  • Vehicles are better designed to avoid accidents and protect occupants in the event of a crash.
  • Emergency response systems and medical technology have improved, saving more lives.

Even with an overall decline in fatalities, there are clusters of years when the number of motor vehicle deaths has increased. For instance, the number of fatalities increased by 8.4 percent in 2015 and 6.5 percent in 2016. One possible explanation could be the rising use of handheld digital devices, which increased distracted driving.

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