Traffic fatality statistics for 2010 will be released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration later this summer. Meanwhile, the agency has recently released comprehensive state-by-state data for 2009. Statistics show car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois declined 13 percent. Still, Illinois experienced more than 900 fatalities resulting from traffic accidents in 2009.
As that number is still relatively high, law enforcement and safety advocates continue their push to urge drivers to drive safer on our roadways and to abide by driving laws during the busy summer driving season and throughout the remainder of the year.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys believe that through a conscious effort from all residents we can maintain a significant decrease in these numbers. This decrease will have to result from more alert driving, less distracted driving, the monitoring of drunk driving and more awareness for on-foot travelers and cyclists.
In our state, nearly 1 death occurs for ever 100 million vehicle miles traveled. It is also estimated that there are almost 9 deaths for every 100 million registered vehicles or nearly 11 deaths for every 100 million licensed drivers.
Illinois has witnessed a numbers of years in which the number of fatalities resulting from car accidents has decreased. The steepest decrease occurred from 1975 to 2009 when we saw a decreased of 55 percent. In 1975, we saw more than 2,000 traffic accident fatalities, compared to 911 in 2009. During these 34 years, we experienced a 76 percent decrease in the number of fatalities per vehicle miles traveled.
The numbers aren’t all positive, however. From 2000 to 2009, we saw a near 5 percent increase in fatalities from car accidents that involved a drunk driver. During 2009 alone, nearly 40 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Speeding was also a common factor in many of these accidents. Of the 911 traffic fatalities in 2009, 325 of them were the result of an accident that involved a speeding driver. Most of these accident occurred in an area with a set speed limit of 55 mph.
Passenger cars suffered the most fatal accidents as they accounted for nearly half of all deadly crashes. Light trucks followed behind, accounting for 32.9 percent of all fatal crashes.
In an attempt to reduce these numbers, Illinois enact a seat belt law for all front seat passengers. If you’re busted not wearing your seat belt, you could face an immediate $30 fine. This law went into effect back in 2003. Consequently, more than 90 percent of motorists wear their seat belt. More recently, the state has enacted a law banning drivers from text messaging or using a cell phone in school zones and construction sites.
Just by looking at this data, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of being in an accident. It may not seem like rocket science, but believe it or not, many residents refuse to follow these few precautionary steps. Residents are urged not to drink and drive as it greatly increases your chances of being involved in an accident. All motorists are urged to wear their seat belt, not only because it’s the law but to help save your life in the event of an accident. And lastly, you’re urged to abide by the speed limits. Increasing your speed increases impact upon a collision which increases the severity of injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys 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.
More Blog Entries:
You may now be safer than before in a Chicago Car Accident if You Drive an SUV , Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 16, 2011
Chicago drivers need to stop crashing into buildings , Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 9, 2011
Illinois Car Accidents 8th Costliest in Nation, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, May 24, 2011