The phrase “multi-car collision” typically is used to describe accidents with a large number of cars. However, it can mean anything from a crash with two or three vehicles to one with hundreds. These incidents happen most commonly in areas with heavy traffic, unexpected congestion, and in parts of the country where weather can be treacherous. Put simply, Illinois faces an incredibly large risk of being home to multi-car collisions at any time of the year but particularly during the winter months.
Like most types of car accidents, multi-car collisions can happen for a number of reasons and therefore can be difficult to prevent or avoid. One of the most common causes of these crashes is a vehicle following too closely for safety. A driver who keeps her vehicle too close to the vehicle in front of her is at risk for causing a rear-end collision, and if traffic is heavy, that initial rear-end collision may turn into a chain reaction crash involving several vehicles all being struck from behind. Areas like the Kennedy Expressway and the Eisenhower and known for having chain reaction collisions particularly during morning and evening rush hours.
Poor visibility is another reason that multi-vehicle accidents happen in and around Chicago. Fog, rain, sleet, and hail are some of the conditions that can contribute to decreased visibility and that can make driving more challenging. If a motorist is faced with a limited view of the roadway in front of her but does not slow her speed, she may strike one or more cars in front of her and cause damage to numerous vehicles. While fog is more common in the early morning hours than it is later in the day, other types of weather can strike at any time and limit visibility without much notice to area drivers.
Of course, one of the biggest issues facing winter drivers in Chicago continues to be snow and ice on the roadways. Snow and ice have also been blamed on some of the nation’s largest multi-vehicle collisions over the years including many fatal accidents in the Northeast, Midwest, and West. Snow is often underappreciated by drivers and its effect on the roadways not well understood. Snow can cause slippery conditions when it is first falling and can cause drivers to lose traction and/or control of their vehicles once it starts to accumulate. Further, ice can gather on certain portions of the road and leave other areas unaffected, surprising passing drivers and leading to impacts.
Though numerous factors can lead to multi-vehicle collisions, a mistake or an error in judgment by at least one driver involved is almost always part of the equation. A speeding motorist, a distracted driver, an operator under the influence, or simply someone who is not paying attention can cause a car accident any day in Chicago.
If the actions of another individual caused a crash that left you hurt, know that you may be entitled to seek compensation for your damages and that it is your right to work with a personal injury attorney if you choose to do so.
Prior Blog Entry:
Backups, Car Accidents Expected During Thanksgiving Travel in Illinois, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published November 23, 2016.