As December begins, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the state is on the verge of reporting fewer than 1,000 traffic fatalities for the second year in a row. Last year was the first time since 1921 that fewer than 1,000 motorists were killed on the state’s roads.
Fewer Chicago car accidents is part of the reason. Through November, 124 fatal car accidents have been reported in Chicago, compared to 141 during the same period last year and 156 through the first 11 months of 2008.
As our Chicago injury lawyers have reported, much of the reduction has been the result of high unemployment, the slow economy and less road congestion. In fact, there is some evidence that fatalities have begun to rise again with the economic recovery. So far this year there have been 855 fatalities, 17 more than the 838 reported statewide through the first 11 months of last year.
That’s part of the reason traffic safety efforts are expected to be intense through the holiday season, which began with a host of traffic enforcement initiatives on Thanksgiving weekend, including 2,000 seat belt enforcement zones, 68 roadside safety checkpoints and more than 1,000 additional patrols.
“The partnership between IDOT, state and local law enforcement exemplifies our collective commitment and dedication to traffic safety in Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “We strongly urge all drivers and passengers to continue to buckle-up, properly secure your child in the appropriate safety seat, never drink and drive and please silence or place your cell phone in the glove compartment before driving.”
Speeding, distracted driving, failure to wear seat belts, drunk driving, drowsy driving and aggressive driving are among the most common causes of serious or fatal accidents. As the holiday coincides with the start of the winter driving season, authorities are also urging motorists to have their cars serviced, to allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and to make other accommodations for bad weather and poor driving conditions.
If you or a loved one has been in an accident, contact the Chicago injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free consultation . Call (312) 475-9596 to speak directly to a lawyer now.