The Illinois Department of Transportation reports an increased emphasis on seat-belt enforcement and a crackdown on impaired drivers in an effort to reduce the risk of car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere as we head into the winter driving season.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys urge motorists to have their vehicles serviced, including a thorough inspection of brakes and tires, and to talk to family members about the importance of making good driving decisions as we head into the holidays.
The state reports a significant difference in seat belt use between front and back seat passengers — back seat passengers killed in accidents were nearly twice as likely to be unbuckled, according to 2003 to 2009 crash data. Last year, 628 passenger car occupants (cars and light trucks) were killed in Illinois car accidents. Only 27 percent of those killed while riding in the back seat were properly restrained.
“Sadly, the holiday season, which for many is the happiest time of the year, can also be one of the deadliest and most tragic,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “Wearing a safety belt costs nothing, but not wearing it could cost you a ticket or worse…your life. The same applies when you have been drinking and choose to drive. We want all drivers and passengers to remember Click It or Ticket, day and night and You Drink & Drive. You Lose.”
Illinois drunk driving accidents are a significant safety threat through the holiday season. Nationwide, one-third of all fatal crashes involved alcohol in 2008, resulting in 11,773 deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Drunk driving accidents in Illinois resulted in the deaths of 404 motorists.
Through the Thanksgiving Holiday, the Illinois State Police and more than 150 local law enforcement agencies will be conducting roadside safety checks and impaired driver saturation patrols.
Illinois law does not currently require backseat adult passengers to wear seat belts.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free case evaluationsto discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS.