Several people injured in Chicago motor vehicle accident

A recent motor vehicle accident in Chicago caused serious injuries to four individuals. The NHTSA lists a number of the most common causes of crashes.

The Chicago Tribune reports that five people suffered injuries as a result of a two-vehicle accident in the South Austin neighborhood on November 8, 2014. According to police reports, one vehicle rear-ended the other, forcing it to hit a brick wall. The first vehicle then hit a streetlight pole on the other side of the street.

Although it is not yet clear what caused the crash, four of the victims were in serious condition immediately afterward, while another person's injuries appeared to be minor.

Common causes of auto accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of the most common causes of car accidents nationwide is driver error, which in turn may be the result of a number of activities or mistakes. A major concern is connected to the increased use of mobile devices. Even though many states and municipalities ban talking on a phone or texting while operating a vehicle, drivers tend to ignore these laws.

A USA Today article in March 2014 detailed just how dangerous cell phone use while driving can be. The article cites a National Safety Council study indicating that the use of mobile devices causes about 26 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. What is perhaps surprising is that relatively few - about 5 percent - of these crashes are due to texting while driving. Rather, the most common issue is related to talking on a cell phone, and studies show that using hands-free devices are not much safer than handheld devices.

Distraction is not the only factor leading to auto accidents, however. The NHTSA estimates that about 40 percent of crashes involve one or more drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Driving while intoxicated impacts drivers' reaction times and results in poor vision and decision-making abilities. Fatigue is another prevalent issue, as tired drivers can be nearly as susceptible to error as those who are distracted or intoxicated.

Another common driver error is speeding or violating traffic laws, a particular concern with young drivers. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's studies indicate that the risk for getting into a car accident is highest among teens aged 16 to 19, and individuals in this age group are up to three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those in their 20s.

Speeding or driving erratically can make it difficult for other motorists to predict what the speeder will do next, and traveling too fast when there's poor visibility or inclement weather may cause inexperienced drivers to lose control of their vehicles.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the actions or negligence of another party, you may need to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. To learn more about your options, consult a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer.

Keywords: car, accident, injury