For the first time in recent history, the number of fatal accidents declined in all categories nationwide in 2009, including fatal motorcycle accidents, which broke an 11-year string of annual increases, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Our Chicago injury lawyers will be examining the data as it is released. A total of 33,808 were killed in car accidents nationwide, the lowest number since the 33,186 recorded in 1950. A total of 37,423 people were killed in accidents in 2008.
One-third of all highway fatalities are still alcohol related. While fewer Illinois drunk driving accidents were reported in 2009, the percentage of alcohol involvement actually increased. Last year, 35 percent of Illinois traffic fatalities involved drunk drivers, or 319 of 911 deaths. In 2008, 34 percent of the state’s traffic deaths were linked to alcohol — 356 of 1,043.
So far in 2010, Chicago car accidents are responsible for about 15 percent of all Illinois traffic fatalities, accounting for 95 of 601 road deaths.
Fatal motorcycle accidents declined by 850, accounting for 24 percent of the overall drop in traffic fatalities. And passenger car occupant fatalities declined for the 7th year in a row and are now at the lowest level since NHTSA began recording them in 1975.
Among the findings:
Total Traffic Fatalities: 33,808 — down 9.7 percent from 37,423
Passenger Vehicles: 23,382 — down 8.2 percent from 25,462
Large Trucks: 503 — down 26 percent from 682
Motorcycles: 4,462 — down 16 percent from 5,312
Pedestrians: 4,092 — down 7.3 percent from 4,414
Bicyclists: 150 — down 12 percent from 188
Injuries were also down across the board:
Total Injuries: 2.217 million — down 5.5 percent from 2.346 million
Passenger Vehicles: 1.976 million — down 4.6 percent from 2.072 million
Large Trucks: 17,000 — down 26 percent from 23,000
Motorcycles: 90,000 — down 6.3 percent from 96,000
Pedestrians: 59,000 — down 14 percent from 69,000
Bicyclists: 51,000 — down 1.9 percent from 52,000
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Chicago, contact Abels & Annes today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS.