Auto Accidents on the Highway
Are auto accidents that occur on the highway more dangerous than those that take place on neighborhood roads and city streets? In short, if you’re driving on one of the highways that runs through Chicago, such as I-90 or I-55, you’re likely to be going at a much higher speed than if you were anticipating traffic lights in the city. Given that you’re driving faster, the likelihood of a serious or fatal accident tends to increase if you’re on the highway.
What do you need to know about preventing car accidents on the highway? While traffic collisions often happen without warning, there are some important tips you can keep in mind when you’re traveling with your family on the interstate around Chicago, Champaign, and Aurora.
Avoiding Interstate Accidents
According to an article in the New York Daily News and a report on ScienceBlog, knowing the causes of highway accidents can help us to prevent them. Take a close look at some of the following tips for avoiding an interstate crash:
- Avoid driving in inclement weather conditions, particularly in heavy fog. According to a report published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, driving on the highway in conditions of fog, dust, and smoke can be a recipe for a deadly auto accident. These weather-related events have proven more dangerous for drivers than winds and rain associated with tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms. Each year, these conditions result in about 100 reported car accident fatalities and hundreds more injuries. And scientists believe that the estimate is a conservative one, given that fog, smoke, and dust hazards have been “present in nearly 700 fatalities annually,” reported ScienceBlog.
- Don’t stop on the highway under any circumstances. Whether you’re driving in the left lane or thinking about pulling off onto the shoulder to check your roadmap, just don’t do it. Pulling over on the highway is for emergencies only. It’s difficult for oncoming traffic to recognize that vehicles are stopped, and attempting to make a U-turn or to merge back into fast-moving traffic can result in a deadly auto accident. If you need to head in the opposite direction on the highway, take the next exit ramp and turn around. And if you need to look at directions or engage in another distracting activity, take the next exit ramp and pull into a parking lot before you take your eyes off the road.
- Never back up when you’re on the highway. Even if it looks as though you’re the only driver on the road and you just missed your exit, a speeding tractor-trailer could come up behind you without warning. You should always assume that other drivers are operating their vehicles at the speed limit, which was recently increased to 70 miles per hour in Illinois. If one of those vehicles sees you backing up, it might try to swerve into another lane—hitting another vehicle—or it might end up hitting you from behind. If you miss an exit, take the next exit and reformulate your directions.
- Don’t speed. While this safety tip shouldn’t need to be said, it’s important to remember that many highway accidents result from drivers traveling at unsafe speeds. It’s much easier to lose control of your vehicle when you’re driving above the speed limit, and it’s much more difficult to stop in the event of an emergency on the road.
Contact a Champaign Auto Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in a serious car crash, it’s important to seek advice from an experienced Champaign auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact a dedicated advocate at Woodruff Johnson & Evans to discuss your case.