Illinois Safety Organization says number of Chicago car accidents could rise with economic recovery

The National Safety Council has announced a three-percent decline in fatal motor vehicle accidents last year with a report that estimates 34,700 people died in traffic accidents in 2010. The Illinois-based safety organization is the first to report fatality figures from last year — the federal government will release its statistics through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this summer.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have reported before that much of the reduction has been attributed to the downturn in the economy and the high levels of unemployment — fewer visitors and fewer people going to work during the morning and afternoon rush hours equates to fewer fatal Chicago car accidents. The data bears that out as the NSC reports a slight increase in fatalities during the fourth quarter of last year.

“As encouraging as it is to see fatalities decreasing on our nation’s roads, the 2010 rate of decrease is less than a third of the previous year’s decrease,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “We must remain vigilant in addressing roadway safety issues where the greatest impact can be made, such as distracted and teen driving. As miles traveled start to rise again from recession lows, we want to ensure the continuance of this downward trend.”

January – March saw reductions of 13 to 14 percent, while September saw just a 1 percent year-over-year drop and October to December saw a 2 percent increase in the overall number of traffic fatalities nationwide. As we reported in February on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, Illinois recorded fewer than 1,000 traffic deaths for the second year in a row — nearly matching 2009’s total, which was the lowest since the 1920s.

The estimated cost of traffic accidents last year, including lost wages and productivity, medical bills and property damages, was $236.6 billion — also a decrease of 3 percent compared to 2009.

If you are injured in an accident in Illinois, contact the Chicago injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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