Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Orland Park

Car accidents are far too common on streets and highways in the Chicago area. Most minor accidents cause some damage to people’s vehicles but no significant injuries. Major car accidents can result in devastating injuries or even fatalities. These injuries can prevent someone from returning to their job or enjoying the quality of life they had before the accident. If you have suffered injuries from a car accident, you may have a right to recover damages from the at-fault driver.

Claiming damages can seem like an overwhelming process, but you do not have to go through it alone. An Orland Park auto accident attorney can help you understand your rights and options. Michael J. Brennan has been an advocate for car accident injury victims for almost three decades. He can fight to recover the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovering from your injuries. This article addresses common causes of car accidents in Orland Park and throughout the Chicago suburbs.

Car Accidents in Illinois and Orland Park

Orland Park is no stranger to serious car accidents. Its location along I-80 provides many risky areas for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) 2022 City Summary Crash Report for Orland Park states that 953 motor vehicle accidents occurred in the city that year. Of that total, 196 accidents involved injuries, with a total of 265 injury victims. Two accidents involved fatalities.

Car Accidents Based on Driver Error or Misconduct

Many personal injury cases involving car accidents use the legal theory of negligence to prove that someone should be liable for a person’s injuries. Negligence is based on the failure to use reasonable care. The following are examples of car accidents that result from something a driver did or failed to do. 

Distracted Driving

We have grown more and more attached to mobile devices, particularly smartphones. Activities like writing or reading text messages can take a driver’s attention off the road. This may have disastrous consequences.

Illinois law prohibits the use of handheld electronic devices while driving. A violation of this law is a traffic offense in most cases. It is a misdemeanor if it results in an accident that causes serious bodily injury to someone. If the accident causes a fatality, it is a felony offense.

Driving Under the Influence

Alcohol, cannabis, and various other substances can impair one’s ability to drive safely. This can be a significant factor in the risk of car accidents.

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs may be a misdemeanor or a felony in Illinois. The Illinois DUI statute applies to alcohol and a wide variety of drugs, including the otherwise legal medical cannabis.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol was a factor in more than 28% of fatal car crashes in Illinois in 2021. IDOT reports that about 1.4% of drivers involved in car crashes in Orland Park in 2022 were impaired by alcohol or drugs, with no fatalities connected to drunk driving.

Fatigued Driving

Fatigue can cause as much impairment as alcohol in many cases. As a result, driving while fatigued can create a significant risk of a car accident. The federal government sets strict limits on how long commercial truck drivers may drive without resting. This is considered an important rule because of the damage that truck accidents can cause.

Illinois does not have a specific restriction on fatigued driving. The state does, however, advise people not to drive when they are excessively tired.

Traffic Violations

Traffic laws exist for people’s safety. Violating those laws can greatly increase the risk of auto accidents. Speeding and running a red light or stop sign are common traffic violations that can lead to car crashes.

Ignoring the Weather

Additional precautions are necessary when driving in bad weather, particularly when the roads are icy or visibility is low. A driver who acts as if the weather is normal is at much greater risk of getting into or causing an accident.

Car Accidents Based on Equipment Problems

Some car accidents may result from problems with the vehicle itself, rather than anything the driver did or failed to do.

Manufacturing or Design Defects

A manufacturer could be liable for injuries that occur because of a dangerous product. This may include motor vehicles with defects in how they were designed or manufactured. 

Improper Maintenance

Drivers are responsible for keeping their cars in good working order. They often entrust this job to mechanics and other specialists. In some situations, an error that occurs during vehicle maintenance can cause an accident.

Car Accidents Based on Outside Conditions

Some car accidents occur because of conditions outside of the vehicle. Determining who is liable for injuries in this kind of accident can be tricky.

Road Conditions

Ideally, Illinois roads provide a reasonably smooth ride for cars and other vehicles. This is not always the case, of course. Potholes and other problems with the road surface can damage vehicles and cause or contribute to accidents.

Inadequate Signage

Road signs can help drivers avoid hazards like road construction or sudden turns. Without these kinds of signs, drivers might not be able to react to sudden changes in the road.

Weather Conditions

The weather can vary widely in Illinois, with extremes of cold in the winter and heat in the summer. Winter conditions can present significant hazards for drivers due to ice and snow. Drivers have a duty to be extra cautious in these types of conditions.

Let an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Help You With Your Claim

Orland Park personal injury attorney Michael J. Brennan has built a reputation as a tireless advocate for his clients’ rights. He will fight to recover the maximum compensation owed to you at the negotiating table and, if necessary, in the courtroom. He gives personal attention to every case, which means you will have a legal advocate with decades of experience on your side. Contact Michael J. Brennan today to begin your journey toward justice and compensation. 



State Highway Safety Documents

Illinois FY2022 Annual Report

City Summary Crash Report, Orland Park, 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2022

Sec. 12-610.2. Electronic communication devices.

Sec. 11-501. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof.

Distracted, Drowsy and Aggressive Driving

Summary of Hours of Service Regulations

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