Chicago Car Accident Statistics

car_accident_statisticsHow Often do Auto Accidents Occur in Chicago?

Few types of accidents have a greater reach than car accidents across the state of Illinois. In 2018, there were 319,146 traffic-related crashes in Illinois.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers will tell you the prevalence of collisions cannot be understated. If you have not been in a crash, chances are that a family member, friend, neighbor, or coworker has had their life affected by a collision as one point or another.

Some accidents are minor and fortunately involve only property damage. That being said, a big number of these crashes cause injuries every year. The victims of these collisions may have financial damage that accompanies a collision even though the accident was not their fault.

As any driver or passenger can become the victim of a car crash, it is a good idea to understand collisions. This, whether the accident is in Chicago, across the rest of Illinois, or the nation.

What are the Accidents Statistics in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation ("IDOT"), the following statistics are true for the year 2018 in Illinois:

  • Of 319,146 traffic accidents, 162,527 were in Cook County, accounting for 47.9 percent of all the state's collisions.
  • 67,453 accidents were the cause of 94,164 injuries to the individuals in crashes.
  • 951 accidents were fatal to 1,035 people, meaning fewer than one percent of all accidents had fatalities.
  • The greatest number of fatal accidents, 273, were due to a vehicle striking a fixed object.
  • Fridays had more collisions than any other day of the week with 31,923 urban accidents and 19,609 rural collisions.
  • The most common time of day for a collision to occur was between 4:00 pm and 7:59 pm.

What are the Statistics for Different Types of Illinois Auto Accidents?

Different actions can lead to a collision, but any type of crash can cause injuries. Some accidents, like a rollover collision, are more likely to cause injuries to drivers and passengers. However, a low speed crash can result in injuries as well. Here are statistics for different types of accidents in 2018:

  • The most common type of crash was a rear-end collision with 91,936 occurring.
  • Rear-end accidents were the cause of the most injuries at 19,831.
  • There were 3,401 accidents involving an overturned vehicle resulting in 1,829 injuries.
  • 16,511 collisions involving animals took place, leading to 688 injuries.
  • 36,266 accidents involved at least one parked vehicle, whether it was a car, truck, van, or bus. Those accidents were the cause of 1,908 injuries;
  • There were 2,843 head-on crashes causing injuries to 1,191 people. Further, there were 96 fatalities in head-on accidents.
  • Turning accidents accounted for 49,985 collisions, 12,912 injuries and 79 deaths.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Chicago

Car accidents can be caused by many different factors and behaviors, like driving under the influence, texting while driving, or because of poor weather conditions. In 94% of cases, car accidents are caused by the driver (as by human error). Most accidents are caused by one at-fault driver specifically. However, it is possible for there to be multiple at-fault parties.

Whether or not your accident was caused by one driver or because of multiple factors, in order to collect compensation for your injuries, negligence has to be involved. Negligence is a breach of the duty that drivers have to conduct themselves on the road responsibly and keep each other safe.

Below are some of the most common types of accidents caused by negligence, along with statistics to show how common they are.

Drunk Driving

Each year, approximately 10,00 people die in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. This makes up 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

Drunk driving (also known as driving under the influence or DUI) most commonly occurs at night and on holidays, like Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, and the Fourth of July. As one would expect, most drinking and driving accidents happen near areas that are heavily populated with bars and restaurants.

People who are planning on drinking should always make plans to arrive home safely without getting behind the wheel of the car. Some viable options to get home safely include coordinating a designated driver or taking an Uber or Lyft home.

Unfortunately, not everyone takes the proper precautions to maintain safety on the road. Still other drivers may get behind the wheel after having a drink thinking that they are fine to drive. But when someone has had too much to drink (which may include even just a couple drinks), they become a serious danger to others on the road and can cause an accident by swerving, driving in the wrong lane, or because of a delayed reaction time. This behavior can also be caused by driving under the influence of drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, or prescription drugs that can have a similar effect.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the biggest problems we face on the road when it comes to causes of auto accidents. When we talk about distracted driving, most people think about texting. However, distracted driving can also include other activities that cause a driver to not pay attention to the road.

Distracted driving includes:

  • texting while driving
  • talking on the phone
  • browsing the internet or social media
  • using a GPS or smartphone map app
  • eating
  • applying makeup
  • talking with passengers
  • daydreaming

Taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds is incredibly dangerous and can cause a serious accident. Research published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds while driving at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

Aggressive or Reckless Driving

Aggressive and reckless driving can include such actions as speeding or cutting someone off and road rage. Driving aggressively, purposefully getting too close to another car, or cutting off another vehicle are all serious risks to public safety and can result in serious injuries. Acts like this can also be considered grossly negligent since they put other drives on the road at risk of harm.

A study by the American Automobile Association reported that aggressive driving plays a role in about 56% of fatal crashes.

Inexperienced Drivers

Inexperienced drivers are one of the most common causes of car accidents since they may be unfamiliar with the rules of the road and are less confident about being behind the wheel. In 2017, about 13% of fatal car accidents involved a driver between the ages of 15 and 20.

Teen drivers may not know how to properly navigate areas with heavy traffic or have trouble driving through inclement weather conditions like snow and ice. Some teens may be more likely to be distracted since they underestimate the importance of focusing on the road ahead of them. Being inexperienced in itself is not a matter of negligence. However, if someone causes an accident because of negligent actions, they could be held liable for that accident.

Improper Merging, Turning, and Speeding

Accidents also commonly occur because of improper merging, turning, and speeding, all of which constitute negligence on the road. These acts may include not checking a blindspot before switching lanes, moving through an intersection when it is not their turn, running red lights or stop signs, or driving above the speed limit. These actions are often done when people are rushing while in a hurry or when they are distracted. Nonetheless, this does not excuse drivers of dangerous and negligent actions, especially when they result in injury to someone.

Common Injuries Associated with Car Accidents

Injuries from a car accident can range from mild to severe. In the worst of cases, a car accident will result in fatal injuries. The severity of injuries sustained from an accident has to do with the severity of the collision and the types of motor vehicles involved.

Below are some common injuries from car accidents and statistics for their occurrences.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a forceful strike to the head or by a penetrating injury through the skull. These injuries can create serious and life-changing problems for the victims. According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause (at 20%) of all TBI-related hospitalizations.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are very common in car accidents. Since they are potentially disabling, of course painful, and very costly, these types of injuries deserve special attention. Spinal cord accidents can happen in any type of car accident, but they are especially common in rear-end accidents and t-bone accidents. Spinal cord injuries can result in a victim experiencing a lifetime of pain and serious financial setbacks. Additionally, victims of spine injuries may require serious and dangerous surgeries to recover from their injuries.

Approximately 40% of all spinal injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents.

Broken Bones and Fractures

Broken bones and fractures caused by car accidents can range from a single fractured bone to multiple crushed bones. About 17% of all broken bones are caused by motor vehicle accidents. Depending on the severity, broken bones can either be the least of a patient’s worries or one of their most serious injuries.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are a common result of auto accidents. These injuries can create a whole host of serious and costly problems for the victims. They also tend to go unnoticed for a period of time following a collision, which can make the situation even more dangerous and may require emergency surgery. The most common types of internal injuries from car accidents are caused by violent shaking or broken ribs and can damage organs or cause internal bleeding.

Each year, approximately 60,000 Americans die from internal bleeding due to physical trauma.

What are the High Costs of Auto Illinois Accidents?

Car accidents affect everyone involved but they can also have a significant impact across the state. There are major financial costs from:

  • Property damage to vehicles
  • Expenses for medical treatment at hospitals, surgical centers, and rehabilitation facilities
  • The decrease in the productivity of the workforce due to collisions

This all highlights why it is in the best interest of all to decrease the number of collisions. It is further important to make sure the victims of these crashes obtain the relief and the justice they deserve.

Becoming the victim of a car accident can be devastating to the individual and that individual's family. Medical expenses can pile up and you may have to take time off work to recover. Through it all, it may seem like there is no one on your side, fighting for your rights.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are here to help you obtain the relief you deserve. Our dedicated lawyers only represent injury victims and we never represent insurance companies.

We keep a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call whenever you need answers. We offer free consultations to all injury victims. If you are too injured to travel, we also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations.

You can contact us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575. It's a no obligation consultation. Further, at Abels & Annes, P.C., we never charge a fee unless a recovery is made on behalf of our clients.