Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury accidents. They represent the leading cause of death in the United States and hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents end up visiting the hospital each year due to vehicle related injuries.
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Determining the cause of an accident, and who, or what is at fault, can be a tricky process. The negligent behavior of a driver, the entity responsible for maintaining a road, or a manufacturer could be to blame.
Recent recalls by major vehicle manufacturers have placed car makers in the spotlight. Some of the examples of accident causing defects include:
- Tires that are prone to blowouts
- Seatbelt separations
- SUVs which frequently roll over
- Motorcycles that tip over at high riding speeds
- Failure of airbags to deploy or airbags that deploy at inappropriate times
- Sudden acceleration
- Vehicle fires caused by electrical systems
Accidents could be caused by car parts that have been improperly manufactured or by vehicles that are flawed because of a dangerous design.
Poor decisions made by drivers frequently lead to injury-causing accidents. Distracted driving is a major cause of fatal accidents and more than 9 people each day are killed in the United States because of distracted driving.
Distracted driving takes three major forms. The first is visual distraction, or taking one's eyes off the road. The second is manual distraction, which is taking hands off the wheel. The final form of distracted driving is cognitive, or not focusing while driving.
Texting and cell phone use are major distractions, as is eating and drinking. Utilizing in-vehicle technologies like GPS systems and radios can also lead to distraction.
Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions are another leading cause of automobile accidents. Common road conditions that contribute to accidents are:
- Blind curves
- Mislabeled, damaged or missing signs
- Roads not plowed or salted in winter weather
- Potholes and uneven road paving
- Vision obstructions
- Uneven shoulders
- Damaged guardrails
No matter the cause of a car accident, the statute of limitations in Illinois requires that a case be filed no more than two years after the accident occurs. This can differ slightly when a death occurs. An Algonquin personal injury lawyer can provide consultation and clarify the maximum time length for filing and determining the cause of an accident.