While many Chicago and Illinois drivers obey traffic laws and are focused on driving safely, there are other drivers who may not prioritize traffic laws and how they keep others safe. When irresponsible drivers break traffic laws, they can potentially harm others in devastating accidents. In these situations, those who were wrongfully injured may look into pursing a car accident claim with an attorney.
The Illinois Vehicle Code lists the various types of driving offenses and their corresponding penalties, but there are five significant laws that Illinois drivers typically break. We’re going to take a look at those laws and what can happen when drivers break those laws.
Driving Without a License or Auto Insurance
A current license and auto insurance are required to be able to drive a vehicle. Sometimes, people may drive with an expired license because they forgot to get it renewed. Other drivers may be operating a vehicle that does not have insurance coverage.
These are serious offenses. A driver caught without a valid driver’s license or permit violates 6-101 of the Illinois Vehicle Code and driving without liability insurance violates 3-707(c-1). Both can result in a license suspension or revocation.
Failure to Stop at Stop Signs or Red Lights
When thinking about failing to stop at a stop sign or running a red light, people typically associate it with drivers who are trying to beat traffic. However, there are also other dangers that fall under the failing to stop category.
Drivers may go to a stop sign but not take the time to completely stop the car and look in both directions before safely proceeding. They may do what’s called a rolling stop, where the driver slows down the car, doesn’t completely look for oncoming traffic, and goes forward anyway.
This poses significant threats to other drivers who have the right of way. They may think the other driver will obey traffic laws. Unfortunately, someone who rolls through a stop sign could easily collide with another vehicle. The irresponsible driver may not have seen the other party because they didn’t look properly, or they did see someone else but never fully stopped the vehicle and didn’t have the time to avoid the collision.
Going through stop signs and red lights can harm more than other motorists. Cyclists and pedestrians who are waiting to safely cross may follow what the traffic signs say, but can suffer from severe injuries if a negligent driver fails to obey traffic laws.
While Illinois Vehicle Code 11-903 states that one can get 20 points on their license for failing to stop or yield right-of-way to pedestrians at intersections and crosswalks, it doesn’t always stop drivers who are more focused on getting through the intersection.
This isn’t always done because of aggressive driving. Sometimes, the driver is more focused on something else. Let’s look at the next major traffic law that Illinois drivers break.
Many people depend on their phones for communication, information, and navigation. As a result, the temptation to use the device while they’re driving is hard to resist. But when a driver is trying to use their phone and drive at the same time, they sacrifice their safety and the safety of others around them.
Those who are driving commercial vehicles like trucks or buses may need their phone as a GPS. However, Illinois Vehicle Code 6-527 (a) states that using a hand held mobile telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle is punishable by getting 20 points on their license.
Because commercial vehicle drivers are operating vehicles that are much larger and heavier than an average car, they can cause catastrophic injuries if they’re involved in an accident.
Failure to Obey Speed Limits
When drivers go over the speed limit, they’re reducing their control of the vehicle. Their chances of causing an accident increases and they will have less time to react to the situation. Some drivers may speed because they’re more aggressive while others may be rushing to get somewhere. In any case, they’re breaking the law and are endangering everyone on the road.
There are different levels of points that can be added to a license, depending on how fast the driver was going. The various codes and related points are as follows:
- 11-601(b)(01) 1-10 mph above limit – 5 points
- 11-601(b)(03) 11-14 mph above limit – 15 points
- 11-601(b)(05) 15-25 mph above limit – 20 points
- 11-601(b)(07) More than 25 mph above limit – 50 points
- 11-601.5(a) 50 26-34 mph above limit – 50 points
- 11-601.5(b) 50 35 mph or more above limit – 50 points
If you do see someone speeding on a road and they are clearly driving in a reckless manner, you can report them to the police. Safely pull over so you’re out of traffic. When the vehicle is parked, you can inform the police of the road you’re on and a description of the car.
Failure to Signal
Responsible drivers know to use their turn signals so the other drivers around them know their intentions. If someone is about to turn, they will likely slow down as the turn approaches. The driver behind that car will recognize this when the turn signal goes off and can adjust their speed accordingly.
Lane changes and merging are also situations where other drivers need to know what the vehicles around them are doing. Those who switch lanes or turn without warning could potentially cause accidents because the drivers around them couldn’t prepare for the change. Illinois Code 11-804 states that 15 points could be added to a license for failure to give stop or turn signal.
Whether a driver willfully doesn’t signal a turn or their light is out and cannot signal, they’re putting other drivers in danger and can be the reason a collision occurs. If a driver notices a light is out on their car, it’s their responsibility to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
Getting Help After a Car Accident in Chicago
When a negligent party has caused you severe injuries, you may be wondering what to do next. You may want to explore your legal options and see if you are eligible for compensation. Get in touch with Thomas Law Offices today so you can go over your case in a free consultation.