Traffic Study Shows Chicago Driver Speeds Down But Car Crashes Remain Up

September meant back to school and also a lot of companies had their employees returning to the office as well following labor day. Despite persistence of the Delta variant and the pandemic that won’t go away, rush hour traffic is back in Chicago. According to a new study by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (“CMAP”), rush hour traffic has progressively returned and thus driver travel times are slower.

According to CMAP, 111 people died in crashes between March and early September, compared with 92 people during the same months in 2020, The number of people seriously injured in car crashes was up by nearly 20% compared to 2020.

According to the National Safety Council, which studies traffic safety, these increases in traffic accidents is caused by multiple factors. First, they believe the drivers returning to the office. Some who would normally have taken a bus or train might now be choosing to drive, meaning they less are experienced driving their routes. They also believe drivers are having a hard time putting down their phones while in the car. This has been a problem for the last 10 plus years, but now that meetings are mainly taking place via Zoom and FaceTime, a lot of drivers think they can handle these while driving.

The Council believes one solution to these issues is implementing “traffic calming” measures onto city streets, which can help protect cyclists and pedestrians too, as biking and walking are growing in popularity throughout Chicago and the suburbs. That can include lower speed limits, pedestrian islands and crosswalks in roadways and bike lanes, which both provide space for cyclists and narrow streets to encourage lower speeds.

Please remember to buckle up and put your phone down while in the car. I believe your employer, co-workers and clients will understand if you have to wait until you arrive at your office.

As always, please contact The Bryant Law Group at 312-614-1076, should you need a free legal consultation.

Central Illinois Traffic Fatalities Up In 2021

I wrote about Illinois traffic death rate for 2020 a few weeks back. It surprisingly showed an increase in traffic fatalities despite the pandemic and periodic shutdowns around the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) release numbers for 2021, which shows that traffic deaths are down overall for the state, but certain counties have actually seen an increase so far this year. There were almost 1,195 traffic related fatalities in Illinois in 2020. To date that number sits at 932.

Shelby County is up two deaths, Christian County is up three, Tazewell and Montgomery counties are both up four, and Effingham County has five more deaths than last year. IDOT says this data includes everyone who was killed inside a car itself, and any pedestrians or cyclists that also may have been killed because of an accident.

You can click here to view IDOT’s data in a snapshot.

It’s unclear why the numbers have jumped in that part of the state. Traffic experts are convinced that the 2020 increase in Illinois was due to more risky driving behavior. Some drivers assumed they could drive at dangerous rates of speed because so few vehicles were out on the road. It’s unclear what is going on in these counties. It could be an anomaly. I think we’ll have to take a look at all of the numbers at the end of the year.

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