We are happy to report that yesterday, the Illinois Department of Transportation released a report stating that traffic deaths in Illinois decreased 63% over this long Thanksgiving holiday week from last year. IDOT cited unusually favorable road and weather conditions over the four-day weekend as one of the main reasons for this encouraging drop.
The Drive to Survive traffic safety campaign, which the Illinois Department of Transportation has used to encourage safe driving, is also believed to be a difference maker in keeping Illinois residents safe, and educating them on the dangers that come with driving around the holiday season.
Illinois State Police, as well as other local law enforcement authorities were out in force during the Thanksgiving weekend enforcing seat belt and DUI laws, both of which are crucial to keeping drivers and passengers safe. The Illinois State Transportation Secretary commented that seatbelt usage is at a record high in the state, and yearly traffic fatality totals are on pace to fall below 1,000 deaths for the fourth consecutive year. While this report is evidence that the state of Illinois is making great strides to make their roads safer for drivers, we are not out of the woods yet.
The winter season brings with it many things that are hazardous to drivers. The prolonged darkness at this time of year means more limited visibility and this is one of the main reasons why 49% of all car crash deaths occur at night. You might be thinking that this statistic is misleading because of the fact that more than half of the hours in the day at this time of year are cloaked in darkness. However, this is not so, the fatality rate per mile at night is more than three times greater than during the day. In addition, weather conditions have contributed to more than 2 million traffic deaths since 1975, and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of people injured.
While we are definitely on the right track when it comes to traffic safety, as drivers it is important that we all stay cognizant of the fact that hazards still exist, and accidents still happen.
Our Chicago-based lawyers have fought for 20 years to defend the rights of families who have had loved ones injured or killed in auto accidents. A recent $2.07 million settlement for a woman who suffered multiple leg fractures is just one example of the many cases we handle every year. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, please call us to see how we can help you.