At the end of last week, our Illinois car accident attorneys read an article on The Madison St. Clair Record online page about a recent accident lawsuit filed in Madison County. The accident involved a woman who stopped for traffic, when another vehicle that failed to stop for traffic hit her vehicle from behind. The woman claims that she “sustained severe injuries to her neck, back, spine, head, and face” after being rear-ended. Not only did she suffer from serious injuries, but she also was unable to work, had several medical fees, and sustained an “impaired earning capacity and lost her enjoyment of life.” The defendant is being sued for negligently driving too fast, not maintaining a proper lookout, and failing to brake, stop, or swerve to avoid the collision. The plaintiff is seeking $100,000 plus costs.
After reading this, an Illinois accident lawyer in our firm mentioned that it might be a good idea to review some ways our readers can prevent a rear- end accident. As we have said before, make sure that your brake lights are always functioning. These simple lights are actually crucial in signaling to drivers behind you that you are slowing down or stopping, and better allow them to follow suit. Also, checking your rear-view mirror often, and making sure that they are properly adjusted, allows you to see if someone is tailgating behind you. Should you realize that someone is tailgating you, switch lanes, or pull over, and allow them to pass you.
If you are driving behind someone, avoid tailgating, by using a safe following distance, so if you should have to stop, you have enough room to do so. The “3 Second Rule” is an important rule to be aware of to avoid following to closely. In order to use the rule, first selected an object on the road ahead of you (i.e. a sign, large tree, or overpass). When the motorist in front of you passes the stationed object, count to three slowly. If you pass the object before you are finished counting to three, you are following the car in front of you too closely. If the weather outside is poor, for example, heavy rain, fog, or snow, count to nine seconds instead of three.
From the perspective of a Chicago auto accident attorney, we encourage safe following distances to all drivers to avoid rear-end accidents. We have represented a number of clients in rear-end lawsuits, and know that these accidents can lead to severe injuries and even death. Using a safe following distance protects you from becoming a tailgater, as well as allowing you plenty of stopping room and reaction time should a potential accident be foreseen. Making some of these life-saving tips a habit, such as making sure your brake lights are working and checking your rearview mirror, can be very beneficial as well to prevent injuries. If you should see someone behind you tailgating, or someone that appears to have road rage, allow him or her to pass. Try to take down their car information and description, without putting yourself at risk, and notify the police.