This year’s unusually warm spring and summer seasons in Illinois have caused a larger amount of people to travel on roadways throughout the state, resulting in the number of traffic deaths spiking by 9% as compared to this time last year. Our Illinois car accident attorneys learned that according to a report by Chicago.cbslocal.com, 533 people have been killed in car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents as of last week. This is a 45-death increase from last years total of 488 fatalities recorded through late July. Although state officials haven’t linked the economy to the increase in accidents, many believe lower fuel prices are contributing to more drivers on the road, and thus more opportunities for accidents.
The Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary states that roughly 10% of the state’s traffic fatalities this year are tentatively tied to distracted driving, including texting or talking on the phone while driving, despite many public awareness campaigns in place. “Distracted driving is playing a role,” the Secretary said. “We also have noticed that we’ve seen a 70 percent increase in motorcycle related fatalities . . . [The spike in fatalities] is part of a national trend and part of it could be that the weather was mild during the winter months and so we saw increase in travel during those months. That could be part of what’s driving the increase.” The report says that State Police have also dealt with an increase in DUI and wrong-way driving accidents in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, causing a significant amount of personal injury and fatalities.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys read that 54 electronic billboards on and near Chicago area expressways are now featuring a running tally of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, updated in real time. “The billboard campaign that we have going on is to use our ‘dynamic message signs’ to let people know the current fatality count. I know there might be some controversial questions about that,” the IDOT Secretary said. “The idea is to really grab attention so that drivers can see what they do on the road really can make a difference.
The report states that officials throughout Illinois are making many changes on roadways to address the number and variety of accidents that have occurred this year. These include changing pavement markings and alignment of streets, enforcing work zone safety education programs, targeting speeding motorists, and creating additional law enforcement to hopefully reduce roadway fatalities. Engineers are also studying the intersections and roadway areas that are at the highest risk for accidents in order to make safety improvements.
Our Illinois car accident lawyers understand the seriousness of the increase in car accidents throughout the state and want to urge all drivers to take the appropriate steps to increase their chances of remaining safe behind the wheel and thus avoid motor vehicle accidents. Every year, our Illinois car accident law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a car accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you.