Crash on the Kennedy? Wreck on the Dan Ryan?
At some point every year, most of the 12.7 million Illinois residents will travel on at least one highway, freeway, or interstate. Many visitors to the state will travel the same roads. Some on their way to a vacation in Illinois while others are just passing through the state.
Illinois expressways also service a large number of commercial vehicles, including trucks and vans. These vehicles allow goods to reach consumers within the state. Interstates provide a convenient and efficient means of transit for nearly all in Illinois. Yet unfortunately, as our Chicago expressway accident lawyers know, they also pose a risk to the safety of those who use the interstates.
Expressways generally have high speed limits and the vehicles that travel them likewise travel fast. With restricted access to highways and subtle changes in the layout, it can be safe to drive at high speeds on these roads when caution is exercised. When a driver fails to act within reason or drives negligently, though, an accident may occur. Further, those on the expressway may sustain injury or even death.
Crashes on interstates are some of the deadliest of all car accidents. This, because of the relative speeds of the vehicles involved. Higher speeds lead to a greater amount of force when two vehicles collide. That force in turn leads to the crumpling of vehicles or a loss of vehicular control by a driver.
Expressway Accidents Caused by Semi-Trucks
Semi-trucks are a constant presence on Illinois expressways as they move product from one area to another. When compared to a driver of a car, truck drivers tend to be in fewer collisions than a member of the public. But when a large truck is in a crash, the consequences are often severe.
Fully loaded semi-trucks can weigh several tons as they drive down the interstate. The greater weight means that it takes a longer distance for a truck to slow or stop. This creates issues in the event of a hazard appearing on the road, like an accident, a blown tire, or a storm.
Semi-truck crashes on an expressway are some of the deadliest collisions that occur on Illinois roads. This is because of the large size of the truck compared to the other vehicles involved.
Though semi-truck collisions may not be as common as other accidents, they almost always result in significant injury. They can leave victims with large medical bills and no means to pay them.
Expressway Accidents Caused by Cars
In terms of the number of overall collisions, cars make up a greater proportion of expressway accidents than other vehicles. This is because of the large number of cars that travel the roads as well as the makeup of the drivers behind the wheel. Generally, those driving cars on the highway have basic driving education as required by law. However, they have not had additional driver training, like what’s necessary for commercial certifications.
A number of different factors can cause car accidents. Many collisions result from driver mistakes or errors. Recent studies suggest that speeding is a factor in approximately 50 percent of all car accidents. That equals around 50% of collisions that occur in the nation.
Another common reason that drivers cause interstate accidents is distracted driving. Distraction comes in many forms, such as:
- A conversation with a passenger
- Songs on the radio
- A cell phone or a tablet
- The in-dash electronic displays in newer cars
- Texting while driving
Texting is one of the most dangerous activities and also one of the most visible. A large number of people consider the practice unacceptable yet still admit to doing it themselves. Texting while driving is just as likely to cause a collision as is a driver who has a blood alcohol content of 0.08, the legal limit in Illinois. Yet, people who would never drink and drive still choose to text while driving.
Expressway Accidents Caused by Poor Road Designs
When designing expressways, there are many factors to consider before construction actually begins. Expressways need to be functional in all weather and at all times of the day. Therefore, those who design interstates consider things like rain, water runoff, the number of turns and the degree of the road’s curvature when they are planning a highway. Equally important is the thought that is given to on and off ramps and to the length of merging lanes.
Most expressways in the nation and in the state of Illinois are well designed and are safe. Yet, a minority of expressways have a defect or a poor design that makes them dangerous to drivers. These are factors that are rarely considered when driving and may lead to an accident.
After a crash, drivers may report that a traffic sign was not visible as the driver was approaching an intersection. Or, the paint on the road was so worn that it was impossible to see where lanes were divided.
Putting an overpass in an area with a tight curve may also lead to unnecessary hazards and potential crashes. Whatever the flaw in design, when a road is built in an unsafe manner, drivers are the ones who face the risk of serious injuries.
Call a Chicago Expressway Accident Lawyer at Abels & Annes
If you have injuries from an expressway, highway, or interstate accident, you have legal rights. You can bring a claim for your financial damages. A personal injury attorney can help you understand what options are available to you and what type of recovery you may be able to obtain.
You may be able to recover your:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitative care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
However, the laws in Illinois are very clear. If you fail to act appropriately and in a timely manner, you could be barred permanently from seeking relief by the statute of limitations.
Let us protect your interests. Contact an expressway accident attorney in Chicago today. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575. Please take advantage of our free, no-obligation case consultation, or contact us online. We are standing by 24 hours a day to help you.