Abels & Annes

One-third of fatal Cook County traffic accidents linked to drunk driving

Drunk driving was responsible for one-third of the nearly 6,000 fatal Cook County traffic accidents that have occurred in the past 15 years, according to an analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The report found similar statistics in the collar counties around Chicago.

The Chicago drunk driving accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have closely followed the issue of deadly drunk driving accidents in Illinois, both here and on our sister site, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog. As we reported earlier this year, the Illinois Department of Transportation will spend $11 million dollars to combat drunk driving accidents in Illinois this year.

The Sun-Times report lists Cook County’s portion of I-94 as the 11th most-dangerous road in the nation, with 301 fatal traffic accidents reported between 1994 and 2008.

“People still don’t understand that drunk driving is a violent crime,” Susan McKeigue, state executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving-Illinois, told the Sun-Times. “They think Uncle Ted getting snookered on Christmas Eve and driving away is funny.”

MADD statistics show that half of all motorists involved in a drunk driving accident have never before been stopped or arrested for DUI.

Other dangerous Chicago-area roads identified in the study include Illinois 173 in north suburban Lake County where 30 people have been killed and Illinois 53 in Will County where another 30 motorists have died in traffic accidents.

The study looked at 562,712 fatal accidents that claimed 627,433 lives. And, while fatal traffic accidents have declined over the years, it noted that the 37,261 people killed in 2008 traffic accidents is 10 times the number who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Besides drunk driving, authorities blame the majority of fatal traffic accidents on speeding and distracted driving, including the use of cell phones or text messaging while driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago car accident attorneys and the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.