Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have frequently reported on the link between the drastic reduction in fatal car accidents and the economic downturn of the past few years. In January, we reported on out Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog that Chicago ranked worst in the nation in terms of traffic congestion.Not even motorists in New York City or Los Angeles face more traffic during their commutes; Chicago motorists waste 70 hours a year waiting in their cars — more than twice the national average and about four times more than the 18 hours we were wasting in 1982.
We also reported on the increase in fatal Illinois car accidents last year. And, while the state recorded less than 1,000 traffic fatalities for the second year in a row, many think the dozen more motorists killed on the roads last year signals the beginning of the economic recovery.
The Illinois Department of Transportation reports 128 motorists have died on the roads thus far this year, just four fewer than during the same period a year ago.
Spring will bring with it an increased risk of Chicago pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents. And spring break, prom and graduation bring a trifecta of dangers for teen drivers, who are already the most vulnerable motorists on the road.
Drivers are urged to use caution as Northern Illinois shakes off the final weeks of winter. Give your fellow motorists a little room and a little respect. Safe driving tips include:
-Avoid aggressive driving: This includes speeding, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, running red lights and disobeying traffic control devices.
-Watch your speed and remain extra caution at intersections.
-Don’t drink and drive. Drunk drivers are responsible for one-third of the state’s fatal traffic accidents.
-Don’t drive distracted. It is illegal to text and drive in Illinois. Hand-held cell phone use by drivers is illegal within the City of Chicago. Regardless of the law, no phone call, text or e-mail is worth being in an accident.
-Speak to your teens about the importance of making good driving decisions.
-Watch for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycles, particularly as the weather warms.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Chicago area, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.