The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Naperville

November 1, 2023
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Naperville

Navigating the often treacherous terrain of personal injury lawsuits, particularly those stemming from car accidents, is a core specialty at Lane Brown, LLC. We have a lot of experience in this field and have learned much about the leading causes of car accidents in Naperville. 

We want to bring attention to these issues and help people understand the risks. We will advise on preventing accidents and what to do if you or someone you know is a victim. Please reach out to our office today for assistance.

Here are several prevalent factors contributing to car accidents in Illinois and the United States.

Distracted Driving

Among the common causes of car accidents in Naperville, distracted driving tops the list. What does it mean to be a distracted driver? Simply put, any action that deters your concentration on the road is a distraction.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) categorizes distractions into three main types: visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (taking your mind off driving). Each poses serious risks, but combined – like texting while driving – they’re downright dangerous.

  • Texting and Mobile Use

We can’t deny our reliance on smartphones these days. They’ve become an integral part of our lives; however, using them while behind the wheel has dire consequences. Texting requires all three forms of distraction, which makes it especially hazardous.

According to data from NHTSA‘s research, sending or reading a text takes about 5 seconds—long enough to cover an entire football field blindfolded if you’re traveling at 55 mph.

  • Eating or Drinking

Another hidden culprit lurks beyond using mobile phones while driving – consuming food or beverages. It might seem harmless enough; after all, who hasn’t sipped coffee during their morning commute? Yet this seemingly innocent act involves visual and manual distractions —you need to look at what you’re consuming and hold it with at least one hand—which increases the chance of a collision.

  • Daydreaming

Daydreaming while driving is just as dangerous as texting or eating/drinking while operating a vehicle. Yes, you read that right. It might surprise some to know that losing oneself in thought while driving can be just as dangerous as texting or eating behind the wheel. 

Cognitive distractions are tricky because they’re less noticeable than other forms; however, letting your mind wander reduces reaction times and awareness—critical components for safe driving.

A startling study found that cognitive distractions, such as daydreaming, were the cause behind 61% of distracted driving incidents.

Drunk Driving

Among the top causes of car accidents in Naperville, drunk driving is a significant concern. Despite the knowledge that it’s a criminal act and hazardous, some individuals still make the reckless decision to drive while intoxicated.

Alcohol can significantly decrease an individual’s capacity to drive responsibly. Alcohol impairs your thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination—all vital abilities for operating a vehicle safely. According to NHTSA, an average of 30 people die every day in crashes involving drunk drivers in the U.S.

At Lane Brown LLC, we have witnessed the devastating impact of these cases when we represent victims or their families seeking justice. It isn’t just about handling legal paperwork; it’s also about helping them through an intense time.

  • The Law on Drunk Driving

In Illinois, the law is clear. Drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level over .08 are considered legally impaired. But impairment begins long before reaching that limit—indeed, as soon as you start drinking. There’s no safe way to operate any vehicle under the influence—it’s that simple.

  • Potential Consequences

If convicted of DUI, offenders face harsh penalties, including loss of license, hefty fines, and even jail time. But the actual cost can be far more devastating—severe injury or loss of life. Remember, it’s not just your safety at risk but also that of others on the road.

  • Prevention is Key

What is the best way to prevent drunk driving accidents? Don’t drink and drive. When you drink alcohol, make sure there is a sober driver or use services like Uber and Lyft. Always remember – buzzed driving IS drunk driving.

Besides individual actions, community efforts can help reduce incidents, too. Local law enforcement often conducts sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols in high-risk areas.

Drowsy Driving

Many may not be aware, but drowsy driving significantly contributes to numerous car crashes. When you’re tired, your ability to focus on the road and react quickly diminishes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that between 2005 and 2009, there were approximately 83,000 crashes each year related to drowsy driving. This startling figure includes an estimated average of almost 886 fatal crashes annually – showing just how deadly this issue can be.

Falling asleep at the wheel is dangerous. But so too is simply feeling fatigued or groggy while driving because sleepiness slows reaction time and impairs judgment. Not getting enough rest can make drivers more likely to be in dangerous situations where they can’t react quickly enough to drive safely.

  • The Silent Killer: Sleep Deprivation’s Impact On Road Safety

Sleep deprivation is a significant underlying factor in car accidents that often goes unnoticed, as its consequences are not as immediately evident as those caused by alcohol impairment or reckless speeding. It sneaks up quietly without much notice until it’s too late.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, research shows that drivers who get only five hours of sleep in a day have a four times higher risk of getting into an accident than those who get seven hours or more.

  • Who’s At Risk?

The sad truth is that everyone can be a potential victim of drowsy driving. Some people are more likely to be victims of drowsy driving. This includes commercial drivers, shift workers, people with sleep disorders, and young men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these include commercial drivers, shift workers, people with sleep disorders, and young men.

To put it simply: If you’re feeling sleepy or fatigued behind the wheel – pull over safely. It could save your life or someone else’s on the road.

  • Detecting Drowsiness

Recognizing the potential within us is crucial. It allows us to unlock our capabilities and reach for more significant achievements.

Tailgating or Following Too Closely

Riding too close to the car ahead of you, commonly known as tailgating, is a major factor in automobile collisions. This risky driving behavior not only jeopardizes your safety but also those around you on Naperville’s roads.

The NHTSA highlights that tailgating cuts down the time drivers have to dodge a crash. Imagine running full speed and suddenly having to stop; it’s pretty tough, right? Following too closely at high speeds increases the risk of collisions because there is not enough space to make sudden stops.

  • The Dangers of Tailgating

While we might get annoyed with slow drivers ahead of us, getting closer won’t make them go faster. But it does significantly increase our risk of ending up in a rear-end collision if they brake unexpectedly.

By maintaining a larger distance between vehicles, you increase the amount of time and choices you have in case any unforeseen situation arises ahead.

  • Tips To Avoid Tailgating

These accidents could have been prevented if drivers had maintained a safe distance from other vehicles on the road.

Here are some tips:

  • Maintain at least a three-second gap between you and the car in front. To measure this, pick a fixed point ahead (like a road sign or tree), when the v; when in front passes it, start counting – if you pass it before three seconds, slow down.
  • In adverse weather conditions like rain or snow, double your following distance to allow for longer stopping times.
  • Be always mindful of large vehicles such as trucks and buses which need more time to stop. Give them space.

Remember – patience is not just a virtue on Naperville’s roads; it’s also key to safety. Avoiding tailgating doesn’t just protect yourself but also contributes towards making our roads safer for everyone.


Speeding is a major cause of car accidents in Naperville and everywhere else, for that matter. When motorists accelerate too quickly, they are not just violating the law – they’re endangering lives.

Why speeding is so dangerous? To put it simply, high speed equals less control and more severe impacts. At higher speeds, your ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway can get seriously compromised. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021. 

Facts about Speeding

According to Injury Facts, males have a higher likelihood than females of being in fatal speeding-related crashes across all age groups. 

  • The Effect on Your Car’s Safety Features

Your vehicle has safety features like airbags and seatbelts explicitly designed for saving lives during an accident. But speeding? It makes these safety features less effective. Here’s why.

Safety systems are meant to assist you in the event of collisions at specific speeds. However, their effectiveness in protecting you greatly diminishes once the speedometer needle enters the red zone. 

Weather Condition

Driving can become a high-risk task when Mother Nature shows her unpredictable side. Inclement weather conditions such as heavy rain, fog, ice, and snow often lead to dangerous road situations in Naperville.

Rain is one of the most common culprits for hazardous driving conditions. As water accumulates on the roads, it can make surfaces slippery, leading to loss of vehicle control. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Weather Impact report, wet pavement contributes to nearly 70% of all weather-related crashes.

Foggy conditions pose another significant risk factor for drivers. Limited visibility makes it harder for motorists to judge distances and spot hazards early enough. Fog-related accidents are more likely than other crashes to result in multiple-vehicle pile-ups or involve fatalities.

  • The Perils of Ice and Snow

In winter, icy and snowy roads turn into veritable obstacle courses even for experienced drivers in Naperville.

Icy roads limit tire traction, which makes steering difficult while also increasing stopping distances significantly; this situation quickly leads to traffic mishaps if not navigated with extreme caution. 

  • Tackling Hazardous Driving Conditions – Prevention Measures

To stay safe on Naperville roads, it’s crucial to adjust your driving behavior according to the weather conditions. Here are a few preventive measures that can help you navigate through challenging road situations.

  • Slow down and stay safe from other vehicles when driving in rain or fog.
  • Avoid sudden braking or sharp turns on icy roads; instead, use gentle maneuvers for steering and stopping.
  • In snow, use lower gears for better traction, especially while going uphill. 

Unsafe Lane Changes

Lane changes are an everyday part of driving, but when not done safely, they can lead to severe accidents. Unsafe lane changes rank high among the common causes of car accidents in Naperville.

So, what exactly makes a lane change unsafe? Several elements contribute to this. Let’s dig deeper and get some clarity on these risks.

  • Failing to Signal

The simple act of signaling your intent can save lives. But many drivers skip this crucial step while changing lanes or making turns. This lackadaisical attitude towards using turn signals contributes significantly to collisions caused by unexpected maneuvers.

  • Inadequate Checking for Blind Spots

Mirrors help us see most areas around our vehicle, but they aren’t perfect. There exist blind spots that the mirror just can’t cover fully. 

  • Rushing Through Heavy Traffic

We’ve all seen those impatient drivers weaving through traffic during rush hour like it’s their race track. Such aggressive driving behavior is dangerous because it gives other road users little time to react if something goes wrong. 

  • TIP 1: Always use your signal when you’re about to switch lanes – even if you think no one else is nearby.
  • TIP 2: Always double-check your blind spots before changing lanes. It’s better to take an extra second than risk a crash.
  • TIP 3: Stay patient, especially in heavy traffic. Speeding and weaving between cars doesn’t save much time, but it significantly increases the chance of an accident.

Failure To Yield

One of the leading causes of car accidents is failure to yield. When a driver neglects to give way, it can lead to disastrous consequences on the road.

  • The Importance of Understanding Right-of-Way Rules

Naperville drivers need a firm grasp on right-of-way rules. These guidelines determine who has precedence when two or more vehicles reach an intersection simultaneously. Misunderstanding these rules often results in collisions.

When determining who has the right-of-way at an intersection, it is best to be cautious and yield to other vehicles.

  • Potential Consequences: From Fines To Fatalities

Failing to yield doesn’t just increase your risk for fender benders; it also makes serious accidents more likely. 

  • Traffic fines are typically issued for failure-to-yield violations but may vary based on local laws and repeat offenses.
  • In some instances where harm was caused due to someone failing their duty to yield appropriately, legal action might be pursued by those injured.
  • The worst-case scenario? A collision resulting from failure-to-yield could lead to wrongful death, which has devastating effects on the victim’s family.
  • Prevention is Key: Yielding To Safety

The good news? Preventing these accidents can be as simple as being more mindful of yielding rules. 

Here are a few essential tips:

  • Always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • At a four-way stop, the vehicle that arrives first has priority; if two cars come simultaneously, the one on the left should yield. But if two cars show up simultaneously, the one on the left should yield.

Aggressive Driving

The streets of Naperville are not a battleground, but aggressive driving can make them feel like one. This conduct is not merely a source of vexation; it is one of the critical reasons for car crashes.

Aggressive driving is when someone drives dangerously by speeding, tailgating, and making unsafe lane changes. This behavior is usually caused by impatience or anger. But what triggers this hazardous conduct on the road? Often, it stems from traffic delays, anonymity behind the wheel, or running late for work. NHTSA data indicates that roughly two-thirds of traffic deaths are a result of aggressive driving.

  • The Impact of Aggression Behind The Wheel

Letting your emotions control your actions while driving puts lives at risk, including your own.

Beyond physical harm and potential loss of life, there’s also a significant financial impact associated with these types of incidents. Medical expenses post-accident can skyrocket quickly, and property damage costs often add up fast, too. 

  • Tips To Prevent Becoming An Aggressor On Roadways

Preventing aggressive driving starts with self-awareness. Before you start your engine, take a moment to assess how you’re feeling emotionally. If you’re feeling stressed or angry, give yourself time to cool down before hitting the road.

Practice patience and courtesy towards other drivers while on the road, even if they’re not doing the same for you. It’s vital to practice calmness in tense situations to enhance safety and reduce stress-induced aggression.

Contact Lane Brown, LLC for Legal Help

We trust that you have found our insights into the prevalent causes of car accidents in Illinois valuable. Those who have endured injuries or lost loved ones in car accidents deserve compensation. If you or your family member is injured in a car accident, you can seek compensation from the responsible party.
If you’ve experienced injuries or a loss in a Naperville, Illinois, car accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact our experienced auto accident attorneys at Lane Brown, LLC. Let us assist you in obtaining the compensation you are entitled to. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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