Certain misconceptions cloud the statistics when it comes to comparing the dangers of younger drivers versus that of older drivers. Many researchers believe that younger drivers are inexperienced and therefore cause more car accidents.
Others believe that since older people have slower reactions, they are more likely to cause car accidents. But one fact is incontrovertible. Driver error causes 100 percent of car accidents in Illinois. As outlined below, the kinds of driver errors could affect motorists, whether they are young or old.
Individual carelessness is basically at the heart of these errors. Young people often make bad choices, mostly because the human brain does not fully develop until people are in their late 20s. Older people sometimes make bad choices too, frequently because they have gotten away with it before. If driver carelessness causes a car accident, a Rockford car accident lawyer may be able to obtain substantial compensation for victims in court.
Frequently, people make bad choices before they even get behind the wheel. The duty of reasonable care, which applies to most noncommercial motorists, requires them to be at their best, physically, emotionally, and otherwise, before they drive. But some form of driver impairment causes about half the car accidents in Illinois. Some common kinds of driver impairment include:
- Alcohol Consumption: Basically, alcohol is a muscle relaxer that slows reflexes. It also gives people an inflated sense of euphoria. These properties make alcohol very popular among many people. They also make it very dangerous for motorists. The impairing effects of alcohol, slow reflexes, and clouded judgment, begin at the first drink.
- Operator Fatigue: Drowsiness slows brain functions. Muscles take a little longer to respond and it is not as easy to make quick decisions. Drinking coffee, chewing gum, and other shortcuts temporarily help drivers feel more alert. But they do not address the underlying problem.
- Substance Use: Marijuana and prescription medicines, mostly sleep aids, antidepressants, and pain pills, are the most common impairing substances in Illinois. It may be at least semi-legal to take these drugs. But it is always entirely illegal, and extremely hazardous, to operate a motor vehicle while under their influence.
- Medical Condition: A number of chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, epilepsy, and diabetes, could cause a sudden loss of consciousness. If that happens while the person is driving, the result is usually a serious loss-of-control wreck. Who knows what will happen in these situations.
On a related note, many drivers fail to inspect their cars for issues like bald tires or bad brakes. The duty of reasonable care does not require drivers to obtain state inspections every time they hit the road. But it does require them to keep an eye on these issues and address them before they become safety hazards.
Making an illegal turn or lane change, speeding, and ignoring a traffic control device are among the most common driver operational errors. Liability is often easier to prove in these wrecks, because of the negligence per se rule. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) could be responsible for damages as a matter of law if they violate a safety law and that violation substantially causes a wreck.
Damages in a car accident claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages could be available as well, in some extreme cases.
Count On a Dedicated Winnebago County Car Accident Attorney
Accident victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. by calling 815-315-0574. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.