Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics, Facts, and Information for Illinois

In 2019, there were more than 300,000 motor vehicle crashes in Illinois, with 938 of them being fatal. Since then there has been an increase in vehicle crashes and fatal crashes including cars, semi-trucks, and/or motorcycles. Even though Illinois doesn’t have the highest motor vehicle accident rate in the U.S. (South Carolina does), an increase in both fatal and nonfatal accidents is a problem. Here’s what you should know about motor vehicle accidents in Illinois and what to do if you’re in an accident in Illinois.

Top 5 Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Illinois

#1: Distracted Driving

This is the leading cause of auto accidents in Illinois and all over the U.S. Distracted driving is when the driver of a vehicle has their attention on anything other than the road ahead. Texting while driving is the most common form of distracted driving, but other distractions can include:

  • Applying makeup
  • eating/drinking
  • Talking on the phone/to other passengers
  • Using GPS/maps

#2: Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is usually considered drivaggressively. Speeding is the most common form of aggressive driving, and it’s likely to cause more serious accidents because of the high speed. Higher speeds also give less time for reactions. Following too closely, unsafe lane changes and failure to yield are also considered to be reckless driving.

#3: Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be considered a form of distracted driving. Alcohol and drugs can impair thinking and judgment, which is a cognitive distraction. Most people are aware that drinking alcohol before or while driving is dangerous, as well as using drugs. However, even over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can impair cognitive function.

#4: Road Conditions

Illinois is a state that typically sees all four seasons— and the weather conditions that come with them. In the colder months, there’s a risk of icy roads, while during the spring and summer, there’s a risk of flooding. Another condition that can make a road dangerous is construction on roads or lack thereof.

#5: Driver Fatigue

Drowsy driving is another cause of auto accidents in Illinois. As with drinking in some cases, some people believe that they can still drive even if they are drowsy. This can also be considered a cognitive distraction that leads to an accident.

Any of these causes can involve cars, semi-trucks, motorbikes/motorcycles, and even pedestrians.

What to Do if You’re in an Accident in Illinois

Call 911

Calling 911 in an auto accident is the quickest way to bring any first responder you may need to the scene. Not all accidents result in injuries, but many do and an ambulance may be necessary. Also, in the state of Illinois, the police must be informed if any accident results in any injuries, death, or more than $1,500 in damages. You may not be able to tell how much damage an accident caused and injuries may not show up right away, so it’s always a good idea to call 911 after a wreck.

Gather Information

You should always gather as much information as you can when involved in a wreck. Take pictures of all the vehicles involved, and get the name, phone number, and insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident. It’s also a good idea to get statements from witnesses.

Visit a Doctor

As mentioned above, not all injuries are apparent right after a wreck, especially soft tissue injuries. Still, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor (such as at an urgent care center) to get checked out.

Notify Your Insurance Company

You’ll also need to notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible— even if you didn’t cause the wreck. They may ask for pictures and a copy of the police report to determine how much you’ll receive for damages. However, it may be a good idea to wait before accepting any payment.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Contacting a personal injury lawyer, such as a car accident lawyer in Chicago, can help you get the most compensation possible after an auto accident. So before accepting what your insurance company offers, call a personal injury lawyer first. The information you gathered at the scene of the accident will also be helpful.

Ideally, all drivers should practice safe and even defensive driving to avoid causing an accident. Since this isn’t always done, it’s important to know what to do if you’re involved in an auto accident in Illinois.