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Waukegan personal injury attorneysAlthough most people rarely consider it, driving a motor vehicle is a tremendous responsibility. A several-thousand-pound vehicle traveling at a high speed is capable of causing catastrophic damage to both property and human life. When a motorist drives in a way that puts other people’s lives in danger, he or she may be charged with the criminal offense of reckless driving. Reckless driving can cause other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians to be severely injured or even killed. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident involving reckless driving, you may bring a civil claim against the reckless driver in addition to any criminal charges he or she faces.

Illinois Reckless Driving Laws

In Illinois, there are two main ways that a person can be charged with reckless driving. Per the Illinois Vehicle Code, a person commits the offense of reckless driving if he or she:

  • Drives with an intentional or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property; or
  • Intentionally uses an incline, such as a railroad crossing or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

In practice, a person may be charged with reckless driving if he or she drives at extremely high speeds, follows too closely, erratically changes lanes or weaves in and out of traffic, drives over the center line, fails to stop at stop signs and red lights, or otherwise drives in a way that endangers other people’s lives.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysCar accidents injure approximately 3 million individuals in the United States every year. While many of these injuries are minor cuts and bruises, traffic accidents can also result in severe injuries that affect the injured person for many months or even years. Sadly, many of these serious car accidents are avoidable. They may be caused by a driver who is not paying attention to the road, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or worse, intentionally chooses to disobey traffic laws.

When a person knowingly drives in a way that puts the motorists, passengers, and pedestrians around him or her in danger, he or she may be charged with reckless driving. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident caused by reckless driving, a personal injury lawsuit may help you hold the reckless driver accountable for their wrongdoing.  

Illinois Law Regarding Reckless Driving

The Illinois Vehicle Code describes the crime of reckless driving. A person can be arrested and charged with reckless driving if he or she:

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Lake County personal injury attorneysWe have all, at one time or another, seen or heard about an aggressive driver putting everyone at risk of serious motor vehicle accident as they aggressively drive on the road, highway, and even on residential and city streets. These aggressive drivers seem have little or no regard for their own lives or those with whom they share the road. The response in Illinois, as in all states across the country, has been to pass stricter laws that address this problem of aggressive driving that has only gotten worse over the years.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Illinois law defines reckless driving as driving any vehicle with willful or wanton disregard of other persons or property, or causing a vehicle to be airborne by failure to obey slow down warning signs such as those on railway crossings. 

Examples of aggressive or reckless driving behavior include:

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThere are many reasons why motor vehicle accidents occur. Chief among them include driver fatigue, mistakes, distracted driving  and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. A common accident that occurs when under any of these circumstances is one where a driver fails to yield and causes an accident. The accident could involve another vehicle or other people using the road such as pedestrians or cyclists.

When to Yield

Under Illinois law, you are required to yield under the following circumstances:

  • Stop Signs. You must yield to any pedestrian or traffic already on the intersection. If it is a four-way stop, the first driver arriving and stopping at the intersection is the one to move first. If all drivers arrive at the intersection at the same time, then the vehicle to the right should move first.
  • Roundabouts. These are the most confusing, especially to new drivers but the rule is, you should yield to traffic already on the road, if you are approaching the road from a driveway, alley or side of the road. You should also yield to pedestrians on crosswalks before the roundabout.
  • Driveways. You should yield to traffic already on the road if you are approaching from a driveway or side of the road.
  • Intersections with no signals or stop signs. You must yield to other vehicles or pedestrians when they are already on the intersection, when there is a vehicle coming from the other direction of where you intend to make a left turn, or when entering a highway from a secondary road.
  • Emergency vehicles. You must yield to all emergency vehicles with sirens or lights flashing. You should also move as far to the right as possible, come to a complete stop, and move only after the emergency vehicle has passed or you as you may be directed by a police officer or other person directing traffic.

These are just some of the situations where you must yield as required under the law. In all other situations, if you are unsure whether to yield or not, err on the side of safety by yielding while being mindful of drivers behind you. Failure to yield can result in serious and even fatal accidents so it is important to obey the rules that govern when to yield.

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Aggressive Driving Accident Injures Seven on Lake Shore Drive

Gurnee aggressive driving accident attorneyA recent high-speed crash on Chicago’s North Lake Shore Drive is just the latest example of car accidents caused by aggressive driving in the state of Illinois. The accident, which occurred around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, August 13, ultimately injured seven people. The driver, a 28-year-old man driving a Honda Accord, was traveling at speeds well above the speed limit when he lost control of his vehicle and ran into an embankment. While no one was killed in the collision, the accident serves as a reminder of the tangible dangers of aggressive driving.   

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” Studies conducted by the NHTSA found that aggressive driving played a significant role in over half of all highway fatalities from 2003 to 2007. 

Identifying Aggressive Driving 

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