Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer in Chicago
Most people operate their cars in a safe manner. But it takes only one irresponsible person to cause a car accident. If a driver causes an accident by driving with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” according to Illinois law, they are guilty of reckless driving.
Reckless driving is also called “aggressive driving.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says “aggressive driving” occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.”
What is Considered Reckless or Aggressive Driving?
Behaviors that would be considered reckless or aggressive driving include:
- Speeding in excess of 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to yield right of way
- Weaving in and out of traffic / improper lane usage
- Following too closely (such as tailgating)
- Passing on the right
- Cutting off or hemming in another vehicle
- Performing 180-degree turns (such as U-turns)
- Using an incline in the road, such as a railroad crossing, with the intent of making the vehicle airborne.
In its 2010 Annual Report, the Illinois State Police cited the “Fatal Five” traffic offenses and the number of citations issued for each of them across the state. Four of the “Fatal Five” are acts of reckless driving (not using a seatbelt is the fifth). The frequency of these acts of reckless driving in Illinois is startling:
- Speeding – 214,995 citations (11,134 in Chicago)
- Improper lane usage – 19,469 citations (4,075 in Chicago)
- DUI (drunk or drugged driving) – 12,324 citations issued (1,288 in Chicago)
- Following too closely – 4,146 citations (560 in Chicago).
Pedestrians and Reckless Driving Accidents
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to reckless drivers in large metropolitan areas like Chicago. In a 2011 study of pedestrian fatalities, the Chicago Department of Transportation said the most common motorist action in a crash involving a pedestrian was failing to yield. The most common pedestrian action at the time of a crash was “crossing with the signal.” “Failure to yield” was cited as the primary factor in 48 percent of pedestrian accidents in Chicago, including collisions that resulted in serious injury and death.
Compensation for Reckless Driving Victims
Reckless / aggressive driving is a conscious act. It results from a willful disregard for the consequences of one’s actions. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to someone else’s intentional disregard for safety, Illinois law says that you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your losses.
When any reckless act by a driver causes personal injury, death or property damage, the harmed party has a right to be compensated for medical bills, loss of income, disability, wrongful death and scarring or disfigurement.
However, there is a limited amount of time to take legal action in a reckless driving case. So, it is important to obtain legal help immediately. Contact our reckless driving accident lawyers today.