The average driver in the Chicago area wants to stay as safe as possible while behind the wheel. When it can be avoided, no one chooses to be involved in a car accident or a collision and instead everyone prefers to remain accident-free and uninjured which begs the question: how can drivers remain safe? This seemingly simple question is really anything but as hundreds, if not thousands, of factors can lead to a crash and can alter the lives of those involved.
The best thing you can do is be aware of the common risks for a collision and take whatever steps you can to avoid those risks or to alter your habits if a risk arises.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, operating a vehicle close to your home may be a major factor in whether or not a crash happens. Of all collisions in the nation, approximately 52 percent happened within a five mile radius of a driver’s home and approximately 69 percent took place within a 10 mile radius of a driver’s home. These numbers are huge and illustrate just how serious of an issue it can be to drive in familiar areas.
The chance of a collision happening to you increase with the number of miles you travel because the more time you are in your car, the more opportunities there are for a hazard to appear in the roadway, a negligent driver or an errant pedestrian to cross your path, or even for you to make a mistake on your own. Regardless of where you are heading when you drive, most people being a large number of their trips from home and return home at the end so it makes sense that the miles surrounding their homes are heavily traveled.
Further, the miles around a driver’s home are familiar to her. She knows the layouts of the intersections, understands the curves of the roads, and can recite the speed limits without much thought. This can lead a motorist to “space out” while driving in a familiar area, leading her mind to wander to other issues instead of focusing on the roadway. In contrast, when driving in an unfamiliar area, a driver is forced to pay attention to the streets to make sure that she does not miss a turn or that she notices and obeys all stop signs. This difference in attention is believed to be one reason that collisions happen when close to home.
Being near your home base and on familiar roads also leads to a false sense of security among drivers who may act loosely with the rules as a result. A survey sponsored by a major insurance company concluded that drivers are less likely to wear a seat belt when they drive in their own neighborhood and that they are more likely to listen to music and engage in other distracting behaviors.
It is an unfortunate reality that even if you act in a safe and responsible manner, you may still be involved in a collision if someone nearby makes a mistake, and that crash could leave you hurt and in need of help. If you find yourself the victim of an Illinois car accident, be aware that state laws may guarantee you the right to seek compensation for your damages but only if you act within a specified time period. Working with a personal injury attorney can help you obtain the best possible result in your case and can help you move toward a recovery following your accident should you choose to retain legal counsel.
The attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. only represent injury victims and never insurance companies through our practice, and if you have been hurt, we want to represent you as well. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442, locally at (312) 924-7575, or who contact us online. We have a lawyer standing by 24/7 to help you understand your options so if your life was affected by a crash, please contact us now.
Prior Blog Entry:
More than 20 Percent of Illinois Car Accidents Cause Injuries, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 16, 2016.