Avoiding Injuries Caused By Southern Illinois Vehicle Accidents

Car Accidents Can Result In Serious Injuries

As discussed on this site, serious injuries caused by car accidents in Southern Illinois continue to occur on a frequent basis.  Some of these injuries lead to fatalities, either immediately (i.e. the person dies at the accident scene) or at a later time.  These accidents include when vehicles hit pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.

As seen in the many Southern Illinois car accidents as well as other vehicle accidents summarized on this site, these accidents can result in a broad range of accident injuries.

Given the frequency and severity of these crashes, it is important to review various types of accidents and how they may be avoided.

Ways To Avoid Car Accidents

Given the likely significant injuries that can result from car accidents, taking preventative measures is highly beneficial.  While, given the wide range of situations that can arise, there is no “guarantee” that a vehicle accident will not occur even if extensive preventative measures are taken, the following steps are among actions that will likely reduce the possibility of a car crash and its accompanying injuries:

Don’t Drive After (Or During) Drinking Alcohol

One of the foremost causes of car accidents continues to be drunk drivers.  This has been a longstanding (decades) cause of serious, and in many cases fatal vehicle accidents.  While there have been various rules and regulations enacted, as well as considerable amounts of enforcement, education and other awareness initiatives taken these drunk driving accidents continue to happen.  Many DUI accidents that have occurred in Southern Illinois have led to serious accident injuries and/or fatalities.

Spot And Avoid Drunk Drivers

Being able to spot and avoid drunk drivers may prevent an accident.  There are many signs that can indicate that a driver is driving while intoxicated.  Signs of possible drunk driving are listed in the “How To Spot Drunk Drivers” post.  If you do see someone who appears to be drunk driving, MADD publishes steps to take on the “What to Do” page.

Don’t Drive While Intoxicated On Drugs

While drunk driving is widely acknowledged as a serious traffic safety issue, driver impairment caused by drug use has been increasing over the last few years.  Now, incidents in which drivers are driving while impaired on drugs has reached substantial levels, and many such accidents – including fatal accidents – have occurred.  The drugs used are both illegal as well as legal drugs.  Legal drugs, such as prescription drugs, can cause impairment to occur, especially if the drugs are used in improper dosages or otherwise are not being properly administered.

Avoid Mechanical Problems

Some accidents are caused because cars and other vehicles develop mechanical problems.  There are a broad range of mechanical problems that can occur.  Many of these mechanical problems can be avoided with proper car maintenance.  One of the most hazardous problems that can occur on a vehicle is if a tire blowout occurs.  These tire blowouts can cause severe vehicle instability that can lead to a loss of vehicle control that often results in a serious crash.

Watch For Road Hazards

Road hazards can cause a vehicle accident.  They are typically unexpected in nature, and take many forms.  Among common types of road hazards are large potholes, water pooled on the pavement, and foreign objects (like cargo that has fallen off of a truck) that are on the roadway.  Any of these hazards, if hit by a car or other vehicle, can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash.

One road hazard that has occurred in Southern Illinois, and has led to numerous accidents, is that of “black ice.”  This topic is discussed on the “Southern Illinois Car Crashes Caused By Black Ice” page.  Loss of control can occur when a vehicle hits “black ice,” and collisions, “spinouts,” “slideoffs” and rollover accidents can follow.  Such accidents typically occur at significant speeds, because a driver does not see the “black ice” before driving over it and therefore doesn’t have a chance to slow down.

Wear A Seat Belt

While there are many technologies and systems that are supposed to limit or eliminate the possibility of being in an accident – or being injured in an accident should a crash occur – one of the best ways to prevent serious accident injuries from occurring continues to be wearing a seat belt.  This suggestion is applicable to all vehicle occupants, even those in the back or rear seats.  Children should be seated in appropriate child-restraint devices (child safety seats) such as car seats.

While there are many reasons that wearing a seat belt is beneficial, one of the foremost reasons is that this form of occupant restraint greatly reduces the possibility of a vehicle occupant being ejected (fully or partially thrown) from the vehicle.  This issue, as well as the other benefits of wearing a seat belt, is further discussed on “Seat Belt Usage And Traffic Safety Benefits” page.

Drive At An Appropriate Speed

Driving at an excessive speed continues to be a significant contributing factor to serious crashes.  Driving at an excessive speed can greatly increase the possibility of a crash for many reasons.  Such speeding will (greatly) reduced the driver’s reaction time, and due to various physical forces excessive speed often results in a crash caused by loss of vehicle control.

Even if a driver is driving at the speed limit, during high traffic congestion as well as other conditions (such as adverse weather) this may be too fast.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving continues to be a significant traffic safety issue.  While there are many activities that can cause a driver to be “distracted,” the largest sources of such distraction are “texting” and other mobile phone use.  Other sources of driver distraction are operating dashboard technologies such as navigation systems and climate control.  The dangers of distracted driving as well as various statistics concerning distracted driving are further discussed on the “Distracted Driving Crashes And Injuries” page.

Avoid Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents are among those accident types that typically result in serious, if not life-threatening, accident injuries.  Rollover crashes typically result in vehicle occupants being hurt.  Serious injuries often result as those in the vehicles are subjected to powerful forces that are unnatural in nature.  The severity of physical trauma is usually high, especially since rollover accidents, by their nature, typically occur at higher speeds.  If vehicle occupants are not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash injuries can be far more harmful in nature, as occupant ejections typically occur.  Characteristics of rollover accidents and the injuries that typically result from such crashes are further discussed on the “Southern Illinois Rollover Accidents” page.

There have been a number of rollover accidents, many fatal, that have happened in Southern Illinois.  Some that have been summarized on this site include those in Grand Tower, Pickneyville, Massac County, Franklin County, Washington County, Johnson County, Williamson County, Jackson County, Wayne County, and near Wheeler.

Serious Accident Injuries

Should one be hurt during a motor vehicle accident, many different types of injuries may result.   Among the most serious types of accident injuries are head injuries, which can range from minor concussions to bleeding on the brain and other severe brain injuries.  Of note, many types of serious brain injuries can be “closed head” injuries, i.e. when a blow to the head occurs but in which there is no penetration of the skull.

Head trauma can lead to or contribute to a fatality.  For serious head injuries that don’t lead to a fatality, many types of temporary and permanent impairments can occur.  Rehabilitation – if such is possible – from a serious brain injury can take a long time period, ranging from months to years.  Traumatic brain injuries are further discussed on the “Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) In Southern Illinois Accidents” page.

What To Do If Injured In An Accident

There are a number of steps one should take if injured in a vehicle accident.  These steps are needed to protect one’s health and legal rights, including the ability to collect compensation for accident injuries if the accident was the fault of another person or party.

Ten steps to take after an accident are discussed on the “What To Do After An Auto Accident” page.  As mentioned on that page, in order to protect both health and the legal situation these steps should be taken as soon as possible after an accident.

While many of these 10 steps involve legal issues, some involve protecting health.  While most accident injuries will be apparent after an accident, given the complexity of accident injuries some may not be immediately obvious.  The reasons and significance for this condition are further discussed on the “Important Reasons For Getting A Medical Exam After An Accident” page.  There are many benefits in going to the hospital for a thorough medical exam after an accident.   Many injuries can best be thoroughly evaluated and properly treated in the emergency room (ER.)  Also, from a legal perspective, it is highly advisable to have such injuries properly evaluated and documented immediately following the accident.

The Filing Of An Accident Injury Lawsuit

If a person has been hurt during an accident, and the injuries are the fault of another person, one may want to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to pursue accident injury compensation.  [in the case of a fatal accident, relevant parties can pursue compensation for the loss of life through filing a wrongful death lawsuit.]  While there are many reasons as to why someone may want to file a lawsuit, if someone has been injured in an accident getting compensated for medical costs, which can be very high, is a leading reason.  The lawyers at the Elman Law Group can help you determine whether a lawsuit should be filed, as well as what types of compensation and amounts of compensation may be expected given the specific circumstances of the accident, the accompanying injuries, and the resulting medical condition.

Types Of Accident Injury Compensation

While levels and types of potential injury compensation vary according to the accident and resulting medical situation, general types of compensation can include:

  • Medical costs (including past, current and future expenditures)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of function
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of consortium
  • Other economic damages

To get a free and confidential initial legal consultation from the Elman Law Group, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney, at (773) 392-8182 at any time.

Elman Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years.  During this time the firm has handled over 10,000 lawsuits.  It has earned a reputation for its trial capabilities, which often results in higher accident compensation for those injured.