Illinois warns of dangers of nighttime car accidents

Nighttime is the deadliest time for Chicago drivers and motorists elsewhere in Illinois, according to a new report issued by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Drunk drivers and low seatbelt usage were cited as two primary reasons for the drastic increase in car accidents and fatalities after dark.

The Chicago car accident lawyers and the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes often see drunk driving accidents and other injuries that occur at night for reasons ranging from poor visibility to alcohol and reckless driving.

Motorists should use extra caution, especially when out late at night or on the weekend. In response to the report, authorities promised to make a renewed push to get drunk drivers off the streets at night.

“We are working closely with Illinois State Police and local agencies to make sure that all motorists behind the wheel are driving sober,” said Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “One of our top priorities is to save lives and the data revealed shows that we need to focus our efforts on impaired driving at night.”

Illinois State Police announced increased enforcement through the Labor Day weekend.

“Drinking and driving is inappropriate regardless of the time of day,” said Director Jonathon Monken. “Data tells us the likelihood of being involved in a crash or fatal crash where alcohol is involved increases dramatically at night. Therefore, the Illinois State Police will focus our efforts on DUI and seat belt enforcement during night time details throughout the Labor Day weekend.”

The report found drunk driving a factor in 7 of every 10 Illinois fatalities occurring between midnight and 3 a.m. and less than 3 in 10 were properly seatbelted.

Those statistics are in marked contrast to higher-traffic daytime hours, where less than 2 in 10 crashes involved alcohol and less than half were not properly seatbelted.

According to the report and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2 of every 3 motor vehicle accidents that occur between midnight and 3 a.m. involved a drinking driver.

And data shows 3 of every 4 drivers who died between midnight and 6 a.m. were not properly restrained.

For more information about impaired driving in Illinois, please visit

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in an auto accident, the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights.

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