Shawn H. Heffernan & Associates, P.C.
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Traffic accidents: 4 factors that make a difference

When you're driving, you know that you have to pay attention and take steps to slow down or stop when necessary. Every time you drive, you know it's your responsibility to watch out for your own safety, because it's impossible to trust everyone on the roads to do the right thing.

There are several common causes for traffic accidents. They include:

  • Eating behind the wheel
  • Drowsiness
  • Texting
  • Drinking and driving

Most people know that drowsiness, texting, drinking and driving, and taking your hands off the wheel to eat are bad ideas, yet crashes still happen every day as a result of people who decide to take the risk. What's not fair is that taking a risk puts other drivers at risk.

What makes eating behind the wheel so dangerous?

Eating behind the wheel is dangerous for a few reasons. First, it takes your hands off the wheel. Second, it takes your mind off what you're doing. Third, if you spill anything, it could burn you or cause other problems that result in a crash or reckless driving as you look away from the road. In most cases, it's best to avoid eating or drinking behind the wheel and to park until you're finished.

Texting and driving causes multiple distractions

You'll take your eyes off the road, use your hands for your message and think about something other than what you're doing if you take time to read or send a text. It's dangerous to have all senses wrapped up in a text, so if you have to talk, pull over.

Drinking and driving makes you reckless

Another negative factor that causes some crashes is drinking and driving. Drinking lowers inhibitions and slows reaction speeds. It can make you drowsy, too, which makes it more likely for you to cause a crash.

Drowsiness can be a killer

Falling asleep for even a few seconds is enough time to go off the road or rear-end another driver. If you cross into another lane, you could end up in a head-on collision. Avoid drowsiness by getting enough sleep each night, and pull over if you need to rest. It's better to get to your destination a little later than to keep driving and ending up falling asleep behind the wheel.

If you are hit in Illinois by someone who does any of these things, be aware that you can file a claim. With help, you can seek compensation for your injuries.

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