It used to be that rural county roads were deadlier than city streets when it came to traffic accidents, but increasingly that is no longer the case. Although so far, there have been fewer fatal crashes in Illinois this year than in 2017, the year to date number of traffic accident deaths on city streets is approaching that of state road accident fatalities—283 and 306 respectively.
So far this year, 894 persons have lost their lives in traffic accidents on Illinois streets. The figure includes vehicle occupants, pedestrians (133), motorcyclists (112), bicyclists (22), construction workers (17). According to the National Safety Council (NSC), alcohol abuse, speeding and distracted driving are the top three roadway killers.
For the families of the victims, these numbers represent so much more than a statistic—proms missed, grandchildren that won’t be born, dreams cut short by another’s negligence. The human cost of traffic accident deaths can’t be measured strictly in dollars and cents. However, the personal injury attorneys of Injury Lawyers of Illinois realize that recovering damages can help a family focus on healing after such a tragedy.Distracted Driving Kills
Of particular concern is the growing role distracted driving plays in traffic fatality cases. Distracted driving is driving while attempting to multi-task—texting, talking on the phone, fiddling with in-car electronics, and eating are all examples of distracted driving.
Contrary to popular belief, hands-free phone conversations are not safer than holding a cellphone handset. That’s because, says the NSC, “these technologies distract our brains long after we use them.” In other words, hands-free cellphone use is still very much a distraction that can lead to deadly consequences.Drowsy Driving: Young Men and Shift Workers Are Special Risks
Researchers also are beginning to focus on drowsy driving, which results in an estimated 100,000 accidents, 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses annually. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveys, 20 percent of drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel; another 40 percent admitted to having a fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in their driving career.
It is now an accepted fact that driving while drowsy slows reaction times. In fact, a person who drives after going 20 hours or more without sleep has the reaction time equivalent to an inebriated driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, the legal limit.
At special risk for drowsy driving accidents are males age 16-25, says the NHTSA. Shift workers are six times more likely to be involved in an accident due to drowsiness.
No matter the cause, victims injured in traffic accidents will incur costs that may be recovered by filing a claim. These costs can include lost time at work, ambulance transportation, emergency room treatment and hospitalization, physical therapy, medications, car repairs and/or replacement.
This is where the assistance of a personal injury firm specializing in traffic accident matters can make a difference. When the personal injury attorneys at Injury Lawyers of Illinois get involved in your case, we review it for viability, interview all witnesses, and work with accident reconstruction specialists to thoroughly understand how the accident occurred and who may be at fault for your injuries. And because we specialize in representing people in traffic accidents, we know how to reach a fair allocation of liability, a necessity to prevail in such cases.
As with most injury claims, there are limits on the amount of time you have to file a car accident claim. This is time limit is called the statute of limitations, and typically ends two years after your injury, or three years after property damage. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you may not file a claim to recover damages for your injury. That is why it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after your injury as is practical.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, call the Lincolnwood office of Injury Lawyers of Illinois. We will assess your case at no cost to you. For an appointment, or more information, call (847) 982-9516 or visit www.InjuryRights.com.