Southern Illinois car accidents (as well as other accidents, such as those including motorcycles, trucks, and pedestrians) can happen for many reasons; one of the primary reasons continues to be a driver’s loss of control of the vehicle.
This “loss of control” is often cited as an accident cause. On this site, various Southern Illinois loss of control accidents have caused both fatal and non-fatal injuries. As summarized in various posts, such loss of control accidents have included the following:
- an April 22, 2014 two-car collision on Illinois Route 4, south of Mascoutah
- an April 17, 2014 truck accident in Pope County
- a March 21, 2014 fatal car crash in Wayne County
- a January 6, 2014 fatal pickup truck crash in White County
- a December 24, 2013 fatal SUV collision after the vehicle crossed the median
- a December 13, 2013 fatal car collision with a truck after the car entered into opposing traffic in Randolph County
- a March 27, 2013 fatal car crash in Gallatin County, Illinois
At times, vehicle rollovers occur after loss of control accidents. Rollover accidents usually happen for a number of reasons, and are notable in that they typically cause occupant ejections, serious accident injuries, and in many cases fatalities. Rollover accidents are further discussed on the Southern Illinois Rollover Accidents page. Various recent crashes involving rollovers have been summarized on this site. These crashes include:
- a February 26, 2015 fatal single-car accident in Jackson County, which involved a car rollover and ejection
- a November 23, 2013 rollover accident near McLeansboro in which five people were ejected and died
These crashes, as well as others in Southern Illinois involving loss of control, have many different characteristics and causes. Some of the more frequent causes are discussed below.
Reasons For Loss Of Control
Given the frequency of these types of accidents – as well as the serious accident injuries and fatalities that often accompany such accidents – from a traffic safety perspective it is worthwhile to review various reasons for such crashes. While the reasons for such crashes are numerous, some common reasons include:
Road hazards that have happened in Southern Illinois have been discussed on this site, and these traffic hazards often cause loss of control. Such road hazards can occur in numerous forms. One factor that makes road hazards dangerous is that they are often unexpected by motorists. Common road hazards can include large potholes or other roadway deformities, such as cracks, ruts, or broken (including “buckled”) pavement. Another type of road hazard includes debris on the roadway, which can include various items, including cargo dropped from trucks and cars. This cargo, as well as other debris that may fall from vehicles (such as detached wheels, tires or tire treads) can happen quickly, and as such leave little reaction time for drivers. One recent notable Elk Grove Village accident involved a trailer that lost a wheel, which then went into opposing lanes and struck a SUV’s windshield. The driver suffered a head injury as a result.
Another road hazard that has caused numerous Southern Illinois accidents is that of vehicles colliding with deer. Deer can cross the roadway unexpectedly, and their movements can be highly difficult to anticipate. While deer can present a hazard at any time, deer on the roadway are especially likely in the fall. (Tips for minimizing risk posed by deer are seen in the post titled “Illinois Vehicle Collisions Involving Deer.”)
One accident involving a road hazard occurred in May 2014. This fatal accident near Edwardsville involved a semi colliding with a car after the semi lost control. The semi’s loss of control was caused by its hitting a tailgate that had fallen off of another truck. This fatal accident was summarized in the May 16, 2014 post titled “Fatal Multi-Vehicle Accident Near Edwardsville, Illinois.”
Any such unexpected road hazard can cause the motorist to lose control.
There are many activities that may cause a driver to be “distracted.” Commonly-cited reasons for distracted driving include the usage of electronics, such as mobile phones for talking or texting. However, there are many other activities which can cause a driver to be “distracted” or otherwise “inattentive.” These other activities can include eating, drinking, operating the stereo, or even talking with other occupants in the car. Any of these activities can cause a “loss of control” accident with injuries if the driver is sufficiently distracted.
Driver fatigue is another factor that has led to loss of vehicle control. While this fatigue and accompanying lack of responsiveness can impact any driver, truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers have received attention due to various recent fatal Illinois accidents. Often truck driver fatigued is caused by excessive driving time.
Operating a vehicle too fast for conditions often proves problematical from a control standpoint. Such excess speed is especially dangerous when driving around a curve or into a corner; however, it can present a problem during many different circumstances.
One particularly dangerous driving activity involving speeding is that of street racing and drag racing. This unsanctioned racing, which can occur on both city streets and highways, has been a source for many crashes and fatal accidents. Drivers and passengers involved in the race can be hurt, as well as others who may not be involved in the racing.
Getting Hit Or “Cut Off” By Another Vehicle
Another reason for loss of control of a vehicle is when one vehicle hits another vehicle or “cuts it off.” This may range from a car hitting another from behind (i.e. a vehicle gets “rear-ended”) or from the side. In such circumstances, depending on various factors, the driver may lose control and be forced into a crash. Another instance in which a vehicle may lose control is if another vehicle suddenly comes into the lane ahead of another vehicle at a slower speed, i.e. one driver “cuts off” another driver. The driver may lose control of the vehicle to avoid hitting the vehicle ahead.
Loss Of Control Caused By Rain, Snow And Ice
There are many accidents that can be caused by (freezing) rain, snow and ice. There have been many accidents – some fatal – in the Southern Illinois area that are caused by snowy and icy conditions. One recurring problem is that caused by “black ice.” Many serious accidents and accident injuries – including fatalities – have been attributed to “black ice.” Various aspects of “black ice” are further discussed on the “Southern Illinois Car Crashes Caused By Black Ice” page.
There are many types of mechanical failures that can occur. Among the best ways to minimize and/or eliminate the risks of such mechanical failures is to perform regular vehicle maintenance checks, and otherwise be aware of the normal service life of various vehicle components, such as tires and brakes.
Driving After Drinking (DUI)
Driving after drinking is a primary cause of serious accidents, many of which are fatal. These accidents often involve a loss of control, due to various effects alcohol has on the ability to properly operate a vehicle.
Another source of impairment while driving is that of driving while intoxicated on drugs. This can include both impairment from drugs as well as inhaling chemicals, including “huffing.”
Loss Of Control Of Motorcycles
“Loss of control” is often cited as a cause of Illinois motorcycle accidents. Various aspects of motorcycle loss of control are further discussed on the “Motorcycle Loss Of Control Accidents” page. Southern Illinois motorcycle accidents that have involved loss of control and have been discussed on this site include crashes that have happened in Jackson County, Jefferson County, and Randolph County. Another such motorcycle crash happened in Alton.
The above discusses various reasons for a possible loss of vehicle control. As discussed, these loss of control accidents often result in accident injuries – and in many cases these injuries are either life-threatening or fatal.
Should you be injured in an Illinois accident, there are a variety of steps you should take to both protect your health and your legal rights, including your rights to potential injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person or entity.
Steps to take from a medical perspective – and why to do so – are further discussed on the “Important Reasons For Getting A Medical Exam After An Accident” page.
From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. There are various steps you should take to protect your legal rights and to help you attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred. [For those that have died due to accident injuries, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.]
If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions may be taken. This legal consultation is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.
Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases. Through this extensive experience we have built a reputation for our court trial performance. As seen in many cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase your potential accident injury compensation.
Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…you will not be charged legal fees unless and until there is a monetary recovery.