Illinois is a pretty safe state to drive in when it comes to traffic accidents, but that doesn’t mean that these accidents don’t happen at all. In fact, Chicago, Illinois’s largest city, sees the majority of traffic accidents within the state. This is mainly because it’s the most populated city in the state (and the third most populous in the U.S.). Here are the most common types of accidents that happen in Chicago.
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As the name suggests, car accidents involve cars (i.e., sedans, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, etc.) and include cars for personal use (including rental cars) as well as for business use (including rideshare services). They’re the most common type of traffic accident, and there are different ways that they can occur.
Also known as sideswipe accidents, T-bone accidents happen when one car hits the side of another, creating a “T” shape. This accident isn’t usually deadly but can be.
Rollover accidents are a type of single-vehicle crash causing a car to roll over. Cars can roll over one or multiple times, and this is one of the most deadly types of accidents, though it is possible to survive a rollover accident.
Rear-end collisions are also very common, with one car hitting the back end of another. These accidents aren’t always deadly but can be— especially if multiple vehicles are involved.
Head-on collisions occur when the front end of two cars hit each other. This can also be a fatal type of accident.
Motorcycle accidents are also pretty common in Chicago, and they can be more deadly than car accidents. Motorcyclists have less protection around them than cars do, so they’re more likely to sustain serious injuries in accidents. The good news is that the majority of motorcyclists know the importance of safe riding to avoid these accidents. Unfortunately, car drivers aren’t properly taught to share the roads with motorcyclists and often don’t see them on the roads.
Because of this, motorcyclists are usually not at fault when they’re involved in traffic accidents. However, motorcyclists must try to stay out of the blind spots of cars, just as cars should try to stay out of the blind spots of semi-trucks.
Semi-trucks are also known as big rigs, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers. These are some of the largest vehicles on Chicago roads and roads all over the U.S., which is why they cause some of the most devastating traffic accidents. Semi-trucks only make up about 8% of traffic on the road but account for more than 25% of all traffic fatalities. As with motorcycle accidents, the bigger vehicle is usually at fault in a traffic accident, but smaller vehicles can be at fault in accidents involving big trucks.
Common causes of accidents may include:
- Reckless driving (including speeding)
- Impaired driving (including drunk driving)
- Distracted driving (including texting while driving)
When the driver of a semi-truck is at fault for a traffic accident, the cause is usually fatigued driving. Truck drivers drive long distances that take hours and even days at a time, so they’re bound to get tired. Still, these accidents have devastating effects, and there are truck accident resources available to help if you’ve been in this type of accident.
Vulnerable Road Users
Vulnerable road users include pedestrians and bicyclists. These road users have the least amount of protection around them on the road and usually end up with the most severe and fatal injuries in a traffic accident. Even though pedestrians use crosswalks and bicyclists use designated bike lanes, they can still be hit by motor vehicles— usually as a result of the motor vehicle driver not paying attention (distracted driving) or breaking traffic laws (reckless driving).
Again, the most vulnerable road users are usually not at fault in traffic accidents, but there are certain situations where pedestrians and bicyclists can be at fault. For example, Illinois law states that motor vehicles must yield to pedestrians already in the crosswalk, meaning that pedestrians can’t walk into a crosswalk when a car is already passing through.
The bottom line is that all road users should be aware of each other, especially when it comes to vulnerable road users. Bigger vehicles must be more cognizant of smaller vehicles on the road, and smaller vehicles would make sure that they’re not in the blind spot of a bigger vehicle for too long. Also, everyone must practice safe driving and follow all traffic laws.
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