A run-off-the-road accident may occur when a car drifts to one side or another or leaves the roadway or highway before it crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines the lane departure accident as any single vehicle crash in which the first harmful event occurs off the road. Lane departure crashes remains one of the most serious of the major automobile accident types since they may result in the vehicle rolling over, causing great damage and serious injuries to the driver and passengers.
Because the vehicle leaves the roadway, it may cause the car to rollover. Rollover crashes have a high rate of fatalities associated with them. In 2013 alone, Illinois had 895 fatal crashes resulting in 991 deaths. Many of these deaths were caused by drivers negligently forcing other vehicles off the road or highway. There are cases where the road design may be a cause of a truck, motorcycle or car running off the road and into a tree, a concrete barrier or embankment causing serious injuries or deaths. There are constant safety improvements in road designs and to motor vehicles. However, driver errors are by far the most common reason vehicles run off the road and crash.
One of the most common reasons for run-off-the-road crashes is high speed travel. According to the NHTSA, these run-off-the-road accidents occur when a vehicle travels too fast to maintain control especially when approaching a road slope or curve or because the pavement is wet, slippery or water flooded causing hydroplaning.
The NHTSA lists the following as the most common causes of run-off-the-road accidents:
- Excessive speed;
- Driver intoxication or drowsiness;
- Loss of direction or control because of wet or icy pavement;
- Driver maneuvering such as swerving to avoid roadway debris;
- Driver inattention when texting or searching for directions;
- Vehicle defects such as tire blowouts;
- Brake failure; and
- Steering failures.
Even on straight roadways in good weather with dry pavements, run-off-the-road crashes do occur. It is important for drivers to be alert at all times when driving Illinois roads and highways.
Motorists and truckers may face the sudden situation where another driver forces the driver off the road, into a ditch or into an embankment or road divider all of which would result in the possible serious injury or death. What too often is the case is a negligent driver causes another to run off the roadway. The offender, the driver who forced the vehicle off the roadway may not be known. That truck driver, motorcyclist or car driver may have sped away.
In one of Kreisman Law Offices cases, a truck driver, who had not correctly completed his driver’s log and had been driving many hours over his limit, apparently began to fall asleep while driving on an Illinois highway. An alert motorist to the truck’s right side saw that the truck and trailer were angling into the car’s lane. The truck’s angling caused the car driver to swerve, where he lost control of his vehicle and he crashed into and through the guard railing beyond the shoulder of the highway. The sound of the car horn and the sudden movement of the car, aroused the trucker, but he regained his composure at least by recovering his truck and returning it to the lane of traffic he was in. It was too late for our client and his passengers who were injured in this crash. The trucker did stop, although it was more than a mile ahead of the crash site. The trucker pulled off the shoulder, put on his flashers and put orange triangles behind his truck before he called for help. The trucker was cited by the police for violating the Federal Motor Carrier Safety law in that he fudged the number of hours he was off and the number of hours he was driving. He had exceeded the permitted number of hours driving by more than 6 hours.
If you or someone you know have been injured or died as a result of a run-off-the-road accident, please call us for a free immediate consultation. Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago and Illinois car accidents for more than 40 years.
Kreisman Law Offices has prevailed in trials and settlements in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas and successfully resolved cases for severely injured clients for over these many years.
With our years of experience in trying and settling automobile accident cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients and have achieved unsurpassed results. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at 312.346.0045 or toll free 800.583.8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case, assessment of your damages such as lost income, lost wages, medical and hospital bills, past and future pain and suffering, loss of normal life and wrongful death.