Common causes of car accidents

Because car accidents happen every day, it is no surprise that there are common causes, such as high speeds, road obstructions and state of mind.

In Illinois, automobile collisions are fairly common. In fact, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 296,049 motor vehicle accidents over the course of a single year, which amounts to 811 car wrecks per day. These crashes can have drastically different outcomes. For example, 845 of the incidents, a little less than 1 percent of the total accidents for the year, resulted in a death, but 61,084, 20.6 percent, of these crashes resulted in an injury. Similarly, the collisions may result from different causes.

Vehicle speed

If drivers surpass the speed limit, they may be increasing their chances of getting in a wreck. Of the 296,049 accidents, 32.4 percent involved high speeds. There could be a variety of reasons for this increased danger, such as less time to react to traffic patterns or wildlife on the road. An accident that takes place at higher speeds is more likely to result in an injury or death.

Road conditions

The condition of the road may play a role in whether a car crash takes place. For example, if there is standing water on the roads, drivers may lose control of their vehicles due to hydroplaning. Hydroplaning usually takes place when tires are unable to keep in contact with the road. Loose gravel, holes, and hard-to-read signs are other road conditions that could cause an accident.

Driver's state of mind

More often than not, the driver's condition can be linked to the cause of a wreck. If a driver is angry, for example, he or she may speed away and take unnecessary risks to pass the subject of his or her wrath. Driving drunk, distracted and tired can also lead to a traffic incident. A person's state of mind could lead to a variety of accident-causing actions, such as the following:

  • Drifting in and out of a lane, and potentially driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • Disobeying or failing to see traffic signs, such as ones indicating a stop, speed change or one way street.
  • Changing lanes without the use of a blinker and without properly checking blind spots.
  • Making a left turn when oncoming traffic is too close.
  • Overcorrecting a turn or braking too suddenly when in high winds, snow or rain.

When a driver is not at his or her best, it can result in a collision. For this reason, people should strive to only drive when not intoxicated, tired, distracted or angry.

Traffic accidents can have a wide variety of causes in Illinois, and no matter the cause, crashes can drastically alter a person's life. Whenever an injury or fatality takes place because of a vehicle collision, it may be a good idea to work with an attorney who is experienced with this type of case.