While there are many reasons for Lake County car accidents (as well as accidents involving motorcycles, trucks, and pedestrian) one of the primary reasons continues to be vehicle loss of control.
“Loss of control” is often cited as an accident cause. On this site, many Lake County accidents which caused both fatal and non-fatal injuries have been attributed to the driver’s loss of control. These crashes have occurred in the following areas:
- Lake Forest
- in unincorporated Lake County, near Antioch
- Newport Township
- I-94 in Gurnee
- on Route 137 near Grayslake
- North Chicago
- Highland Park
- unincorporated Mundelein
- Lake Villa
- Route 41 near Gurnee
These crashes being attributed to loss of control have many different characteristics. For instance, a number of the accidents involve a vehicle going into the opposing lane of traffic (i.e. “crossing the center line”) and therefore colliding with vehicle(s) in that opposite lane. Other accidents have involved the driver losing control after a mechanical failure, such as a tire blowout.
In addition to the accident types mentioned above, vehicle loss of control accidents can have many characteristics and causes.
Some of the more common causes are discussed below.
Reasons For Loss Of Control
Given the frequency of these types of accidents, as well as their severity, from a traffic safety perspective it is worthwhile to review various reasons for such crashes. While the reasons for such are numerous, some common reasons include:
Road hazards can cause loss of control. Such road hazards can be in numerous forms, and can present themselves suddenly. Common road hazards can include large potholes or other types of substantial pavement abnormalities. Another type of road hazard includes debris on the roadway, which can include cargo dropped from trucks and cars. As well, debris may fall from other vehicles, such as detached wheels, tires or tire treads. One recent notable accident involved a wheel lost from a trailer, which then went into opposing lanes and struck a SUV’s windshield. The driver suffered a head injury as a result.
Another road hazard that has caused numerous instances of Illinois accidents is that of vehicles colliding with deer. Deer can cross the roadway unexpectedly, and their movements can be highly difficult to anticipate. While deer can present a hazard at any time, as explained in the post titled “Elevated Risk Of Deer-Vehicle Collisions In Autumn” such deer encounters are especially likely in the fall. (Tips for minimizing risk posed by deer are also discussed in that post)
Any such unexpected road hazard can cause the motorist to lose control as an attempt is made to avoid such a hazard.
There are many activities that may cause a driver to be “distracted.” While usage of electronics, such as mobile phones for talking or texting are often cited, there are many other activities which can cause a driver to be “distracted” or “inattentive.” These other activities can include eating, drinking, operating the stereo, or applying makeup. Any of these activities can cause a “loss of control” which can lead to an accident with injuries.
Excess Speed – Especially When Going Into A Curve
Operating a vehicle too fast for conditions often proves problematical from a control standpoint. Such excess speed is especially dangerous when going into a corner.
One particularly dangerous driving activity involving speeding is that of street racing and drag racing. This unsanctioned racing, which is typically done on city streets, has been a source for many crashes and fatal accidents. Drivers and passengers involved in the race can be hurt, as well as others who may not be involved in the racing. One such fatal street racing accident that happened in Lake County is summarized in the June 25, 2013 post titled “Drag Racing Accident In Gurnee Leads To Death Of Girl.”
Getting Hit Or “Cut Off” By Another Vehicle
Another reason for loss of control of one’s vehicle is when another vehicle hits you or “cuts you off.” This may range from a car hitting you from behind (i.e. your vehicle getting “rear-ended”) or from the side. In such circumstances, depending on various factors, you may lose control and be forced into a crash. Another instance in which a vehicle may lose control is if another vehicle suddenly comes into your lane ahead of you at a slower speed, i.e. the other driver “cuts you off.” You may lose control of your vehicle as you attempt to avoid hitting the vehicle ahead of you.
Loss Of Control Caused By Rain, Snow And Ice
As the winter season is relatively long in Lake County, there are many accidents that can be caused by (freezing) rain, snow and ice. There have been many accidents – some fatal – in Lake County and the greater Chicago area that are caused by snowy and icy conditions. One such accident happened in March of 2015 on Route 137 near Grayslake. That accident involved a driver losing control and going into the opposing lanes, causing an accident injury. This crash was summarized in the March 2015 post titled “Route 137 Car Accident Near Grayslake.”
There are many types of mechanical failures that can occur. Perhaps the best way to minimize and/or eliminate the risks of such mechanical failures is to perform regular maintenance checks, and otherwise be aware of the normal service life of various vehicle components, such as tires and brakes. As previously mentioned, one such mechanical failure that has led to both fatal- and non-fatal injuries, has been tire blowouts. One such fatal crash happened Sunday night (June 7, 2015) on the Tri-State Tollway (I-94) near Lincolnshire.
Driving After Drinking (DUI)
Driving after drinking is a primary cause of serious accidents, many of which are fatal. These accidents often involve a loss of control, due to various effects alcohol has on the ability to properly operate a vehicle.
Another source of impairment while driving is that of driving while intoxicated on drugs. This can include both impairment from drugs as well as inhaling chemicals, including “huffing.” One such fatal “huffing” accident happened in Highland Park, in which a young girl was killed and three other people injured. This was summarized in the September 4, 2012 post titled “Fatal Pedestrian Accident In Highland Park.”
Loss Of Control Of Motorcycles
“Loss of control” is often cited as a cause of Lake County and other Illinois motorcycle accidents. Loss of control of motorcycles is discussed in the “Motorcycle Loss Of Control Accidents” page.
The above discusses various reasons for possible loss of vehicle control. As discussed, these loss of control accidents often lead to accident injuries, and in some case fatal injuries.
A critical issue is what one should do if accident injuries occur.
Should you be injured in an Illinois accident, there are a variety of steps you should take to both protect your health and your legal rights, including your rights to injury compensation.
Steps to take from a medical perspective – and why to do so – is further discussed on the “Important Reasons For Getting A Medical Exam After An Accident” page.
From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. There are various steps you should take to protect your legal rights and to help you maximize the potential to attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred. [For those that have died due to accident injuries, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.]
If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Joseph Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions may be taken. This legal consultation is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.
Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases. Through this extensive experience we have built a reputation for our court trial performance. As seen in many cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase your potential accident injury compensation.
Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…you will not be charged legal fees unless and until there is a monetary recovery.