Illinois Traffic Fatalities Up In 2017

I wrote a few months back about the increase in traffic fatalities in Illinois and the US in 2016. That trend continues so far in 2017. The Chicago Tribune reported last week that according to the National Safety Council, a safety advocacy group, that traffic fatalities are up 4% during the first half of 2017 versus the first half of 2016.

A spokesperson from the National Safety Council could not give a definitive reason for the increase. Although, they did mention that a couple reasons that could factor into these results are the lack of motorcycle helmet requirement in Illinois plus the increased speed limit on major interstates. Illinois increase their speed limit on certain sections of interstates to 70 mph. The Council also noted that pedestrians and bicyclists continue to be a concern as they are particularly vulnerable in cities with heavy traffic.

There was no discussion in the article or in the National Safety Council’s study about distracted driving or texting and driving.  The Council did warn that these numbers could continue to go up as the second half of the year is typically more deadly. This is due to increased holiday travel and winter weather, which often begins in November in certain parts of the country (including Illinois).

Unfortunately there are no solutions provided by the Council I would recommend, again, putting your phone down when behind the wheel. It is incredibly dangerous to text or search the internet while driving. Also, if you are walking or biking areas with heavy traffic, then always be aware of you surroundings. Sometimes drivers just aren’t paying attention.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

IDOT Urging Pedestrians & Motorists To Pay Attention In Order to Avoid Accidents

As I wrote recently, traffic accident and traffic fatalities were up in Illinois in 2015 from 2014 and appear to up again in 2016. More specifically, car accidents involving pedestrians are up in Illinois from this time last. The Chicago Tribune took note of these recent trend in article asking the question why? According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”), they are urging both pedestrians and drivers to put their phones down and focus on the the road in front of them.

“We urge pedestrians to use caution and common sense when crossing the street — use crosswalks where available and make sure to pay attention to your surroundings. We urge motorists to be cautious as well — be alert for pedestrians, especially when approaching intersections,” IDOT Secretary Randall Blankenhorn said in a statement.

Some local suburbs, including Naperville, are making an effort ticket distracted drivers. Naperville joined several other suburbs recently along the Route 59 corridor, including Aurora and Plainfield, as part of a joint enforcement campaign that gave out 32 citations for cellphone violations in a single day.

Is this enough? Probably not. It seems every time I’m driving around town I see drivers around me with their noses in their phones. This occurs all the time, and not always when at a stop light. So what is the solution? As I have written many times before, I believe Illinois needs harsher penalties for distracted drivers. Especially when there is a traffic accident, injury and certainly a fatality. This means higher fines and the threat of jail time.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Car Accidents In Illinois Are On The Rise

The Chicago Tribune reported this week a wealth of statewide traffic accident statistics. Although the number of traffic fatalities in Illinois is down from last year, the number of overall crashes remains high and has state officials worried. There have been on average, 782 car crashes per day in Illinois this year. This is the highest rate since 2008. State officials are citing that post-recession traffic along with the drop in gas prices has led to the high number of car accidents.

Despite the increase in car crashes, state officials are pleased to report that traffic fatalities are on the decline.  “If the provisional numbers for 2014 hold up, we could have the lowest number of fatalities in Illinois in several decades,” said Guy Tridgell, an IDOT spokesman in Chicago. “We are confident that we will have fewer than 1,000 motor-vehicle fatalities in Illinois for the fifth consecutive year. Just 10 years ago, we were well over 1,300.”

State safety officials said the installation of more guardrails, barrier systems and rumble strips on roads, along with recently enacted traffic laws, are all having a positive impact. This year, for example, it became illegal for drivers in Illinois to use electronic devices unless they are hands-free.

Poor decision making remains a constant cause of traffic accidents. Almost a third of the crashes involved driving at a high rate of speed, while another third are alcohol related.

One statistic that was not mentioned in the article or by state officials is the number of car crashes related to cell phone and hand held device usage. I would like to see what the number of car crashes are related to distracted drivers. Although I have been impressed with the Illinois Legislature’s effort to curb distracted driving – – and I have written so in the past – – I would still like to see stiffer penalties for those charged with texting and driving which results in a death or serious injury. Although the increase in traffic due to the improved economy is definitely a factor, I strongly believe texting and driving has to be another reason we are seeing an increase in traffic accidents in Illinois.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

 

Illinois Car Accident Deaths Up 9% This Year

According to an article
published today in the Chicago Sun Times, there are a reported 533
traffic deaths in Illinois so far this year, which is up 9% from this time last
year. At this time last year there were only 488 traffic deaths. This includes
motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents.

Illinois Department of
Transportation has stated the cause is partially due to the increased number of
drivers on the road due to the warm weather we have had this Spring and Summer.
 
“Distracted
driving is playing a role,” Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann
Schneider said. Despite public awareness campaigns, roughly 10 percent of
the state’s traffic fatalities this year are tentatively tied to distracted
driving — or texting while driving and checking e-mail, Schneider said. Officials
also mentioned that there have been an increase in DUIs and wrong way accidents
in and around Chicago.

Although this is
stating the obvious, it is important to be fully aware of your surrounding and
focus on the road when driving this time of year due to the increased amount of
traffic. As always, put your cell phones down when behind the wheel.

If you or someone you
love has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago motorcycleaccident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a freeconsultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at
www.blgchicago.com. 
style=”font-size: 12pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman’, serif; “>

Illinois Records Less Than1000 Road Deaths For 2nd Year In A Row

There were 911 traffic fatalities in 2009 and 2010 saw only a small bump with 923.  The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) cited several factors for the decrease in highway fatalities in the past few years, including record high seat belt compliance.  IDOT is certain that seat belt compliance is due to the change in the law in 2003, which allows police officers to pull drivers over for not wearing their seat belt (i.e. a primary traffic offense.)  Safety belt usage reached a record high 91.7 percent rate in 2009 before improving to 92.6 percent in 2010. The figures are calculated by IDOT from motorist surveys and data collected from traffic citations and other sources.

IDOT also attributes the low number of highway deaths to the new distracted driving laws, efforts to address teen driving habits, motorcycle safety, drunken driving and work zone safety. Spokesmen from IDOT who spoke the Peoria Journal, believe stricter anti-texting laws are needed to further decrease the number of highway fatalities.

Remember, if you or someone you know has been involved in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Illinois personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, at 312-588-3384 for a free consultation on your car crash case or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.