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Schaumburg personal injury attorney auto accident

We all know the basic dos and don’ts of proper driving etiquette to avoid car accidents, even if a good amount of time has passed since we last took a driver’s education class. Common sense when it comes to rules of the road tell us not to drive while distracted or drowsy, not to drive aggressively, and not to drive while under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. While these standards might seem obvious, there are other common traffic mishaps that we often fall victim to on a regular basis. Such poor driving habits can place us at significant risk for collisions and injuries, which makes the need for practicing defensive driving techniques critical each time we get behind the wheel in Illinois.

Poor Driving Behaviors to Watch for on the Roadway

Every state, including Illinois, has certain traffic laws that must be followed to maintain your driving privileges. However, not everyone obeys these rules, which can include making the following infractions:

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Schaumburg auto accident attorney

With mandatory stay-at-home orders in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, Illinois roads have been emptier over the past few months than they have been in a long time. Fewer commuters going to work and hardly any restaurants open for indoor seating have compelled many people to stay at home and off the roads. Surprisingly, despite the fewer number of cars seen on the streets, motor vehicle fatality rates have actually increased in the past few months. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), Illinois is one of the states that has seen this increased fatality rate, leaving a number of Illinois residents incurring serious to fatal injuries because of a car accident.

Looking at the Numbers

The United States as a whole saw a 14 percent increase in fatality rates per mile driven in March. This is especially surprising since most stay-at-home orders were at their strictest during this time as the coronavirus became identified as a rampant issue throughout the country. Illinois itself had an 11 percent increase in roadway deaths within the first three months of the year. One would think that fewer drivers on the road would result in a lower number of vehicle collisions, but the NSC president notes that many see these open roads as invitations for reckless driving. With fewer cars on the road, safety concerns have been disregarded by many motorists, leading to these increased statistics. Speeding has increased since the start of the pandemic, with the idea that fewer drivers mean typical speed limits are no longer necessary for safety.

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Schaumburg auto accident attorney aggressive driving

The issue of aggressive driving on our highways is certainly not a new issue, but as our nation experiences the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, aggressive driving of all kinds, especially speeding, has been reportedly on the rise from coast to coast. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that speeding alone – a major hallmark of aggressive behavior – caused over 9,000 car accident fatalities in 2018, and it continues to be one of the most dangerous behaviors people engage in while behind the wheel. 

Other aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving through traffic, and running red lights or stop signs, are also dangerous, and they can pose a great risk for motorists and pedestrians alike. Even something as simple as failing to yield the right of way is considered an aggressive driving act, and it is often a significant hazard on the highway. While you may not be able to completely avoid reckless drivers when you are out on the road, you can practice certain defensive techniques to reduce the likelihood of a dangerous encounter.

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Schaumburg auto accident attorney

When it comes to teenage car accidents and injuries, the state of Illinois reports some staggering statistics. Not only are car crashes the leading cause of death among young drivers between the ages of 15 and 20, but the fatality rate for teen drivers is also three to five times higher than other, older age groups. Studies show that some of the key reasons for this difference are teenagers’ lack of driving experience, paired with their increased tendency to take risks. As the parent of a teenager, you are likely already on edge about the arrival of the driving milestone in your teen’s life, and statistics such as these can only intensify the grave reminder that driving for young people is especially dangerous. However, there are thankfully a number of ways to motivate and help your teenager drive safely as he or she hits the road. 

Recommendations for Helping Your Teen Practice Safe Driving

Even if your teenager has been driving for some time now, it is never too late to work on changing habits, adopting new practices, and encouraging better behavior behind the wheel. Here is some practice advice on how to accomplish that:

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Rolling Meadows car accident attorney

Every driver knows that taking steps to decrease the chances of serious car accident injury starts the moment you get into your vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that you reduce your chances of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent when you choose to buckle up. You cut your risk of injury significantly when you wear your seat belt, but wearing the restraint properly is equally important. Proper seat belt usage has been proven so effective when it comes to safety that the practice is more than a mere suggestion – it is required by law in the state of Illinois. No matter where in the vehicle you and your passengers are positioned, everyone in the car is required to wear a belt that is properly adjusted and correctly fastened. The safety protection that seat belt use provides is a major motivator for following these laws. However, a crash caused by a negligent motorist can still cause injuries, even when your seat belt is buckled.

Are You Buckling Up the Right Way?

Failing to buckle up altogether is both costly and dangerous, but buckling up incorrectly can be unnecessarily harmful, as seat belts are designed to help you, not hurt you. Make your belt restraints work for you, not against you, each time you drive your vehicle. Here are three indications you may be buckling up incorrectly: 

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