Wrong-way driving is one of the nation’s more persistent and devastating threats. These accidents often result in serious injuries and fatalities because they tend to involve head-on crashes. As wrong-way driving increases, many transportation and traffic safety agencies are adopting countermeasures to prevent these incidents. Those who suffer injuries in a Lake County wrong-way accident should consult with an attorney to determine liability and secure compensation from the at-fault party.
What is a Wrong-Way Crash?
The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) defines wrong-way accidents as ones where a vehicle traveling in a direction opposing the legal flow of traffic collides with a vehicle traveling on the same roadway in the correct direction. The FHA typically limits its definition to wrong-way accidents occurring on high-speed divided highways and access ramps. The agency’s definition does not include collisions resulting from median crossovers.
Common Causes of Lake County Traffic Accidents
According to the most recent Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics report, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) recorded 246,752 motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. Over 52,000 crashes resulted in injuries, and over 1,000 involved fatalities. Moreover, data indicated that crashes involving speed accounted for over 31% of crashes. Specifically, speeding was involved in nearly 45% of fatal Illinois accidents and 37% of injury crashes.
Lake County data shows the following factors may impact the likelihood of a crash:
- Weather conditions,
- Road surface conditions,
- Type of roadway,
- Day of the week,
- Time of day,
- Road defects,
- Traffic control, and
- Driver condition.
Data analysis from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also found over 2000 fatalities from wrong-way driving accidents on divided highways. Researchers found that the following three factors were most commonly associated with wrong-way crashes:
- Older age, and
- Driving without a passenger.
The study found that 60% of wrong-way crashes involved a driver under the influence or impaired by alcohol. Moreover, drivers over 70 are more likely to engage in wrong-way driving. Further, some evidence supports the idea that a passenger’s presence may offer some protection against wrong-way driving.
Fatal Lake County, IL Wrong-Way Crash
According to the Lake County, IL county website, a wrong-way driver caused a double fatal accident. Earlier this month, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to reports of a head-on traffic collision near Stearns School Road. When the officials arrived, they observed two passenger vehicles with significant damage.
An initial investigation revealed that a 32-year-old man driving a Nissan was traveling southbound in the northbound lane at a high rate of speed. The driver struck a Ford driver in the northbound lane. After the impact, the Nissan caught on fire. The Nissan driver succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the accident, and the Ford driver died at a hospital shortly after the crash.
Typical Injuries after a Wrong-Way Accident
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the globe. Accident victims most often sustain injuries because of blunt force trauma. However, fatalities may also involve sharp force trauma, fire, drowning, and asphyxia. Wrong-way accidents may cause the following:
- Head trauma,
- Neck, chest, and abdominal injuries, and
- Pelvic and limb injuries.
These injuries may cause immediate fatalities, or a person may succumb to their injury post-trauma.
Speak with an Experienced Lake County, IL Personal Injury Attorney About Your Injuries
If you or a loved one was recently injured in any type of accident, you have rights, including the right to pursue a legal claim against the at-fault party, and it is important that you understand them. At the Lake County personal injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we have nearly 40 years of experience aggressively advocating on behalf of accident victims and their families. We offer all accident victims a free, no-obligation consultation, during which we will answer all your questions, provide an overview of the personal injury process, and explain what we can do to help connect you with meaningful compensation for everything you’ve been through. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Lake County personal injury lawyer today, give us a call at 877-595-4878. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.