Illinois Traffic Deaths Up In 2020 Despite Pandemic Lockdown

2020 saw most people staying home and away from the roads for most of the year due to the pandemic lockdown. Despite the decrase in traffic throughout the state, 2020 saw the most Illinois traffic fatalities since 2020.

According to an auto accident attorney, 1,166 people died in car crashes in 2020, which is highest number reported since 2007 and about 16 percent higher than the previous year. If a loved one unfortunately passes away in a car crash, you can always get help from a funeral home so they can plan the funeral while you and your family have time to grieve.

According to Top Driver, one of the country’s largest driving schools, most of Illinois’ traffic deaths do not occur on interstate highways but rather on city streets.. As of July, about a quarter of traffic fatalities involved pedestrians. About the same number more involved unlicensed drivers. And more than a third involved drivers who were not wearing their seatbelts.

If there is less traffic on the roads how in the world did we see such a sharp increase in deaths? According to Top Driver’s website, it has to do with increased driving speeds: “There is something to be said about traffic congestion — it helps maintain or decrease speed..”Decreased traffic has given Illinois drivers a false sense of security. Drivers perceive the open roads to be safe and think increased speed is okay, but this isn’t the case. If it were, we wouldn’t see an increase in fatalities. Before you embark upon your next cross country trip or even just a short commute to work, slow down and remain self-aware. Due diligence and proactive driving can not only keep you safe, but also allow healthcare workers to focus on treating ill patients instead of a preventable car crash.”

Just because the roads are open that does not mean Illinois drivers should treat the streets (or highways) like the autobahn. Nor should drivers feel like it’s ok to pick up their phones when behind the wheel.

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

New Illinois Traffic Laws For 2020 and 2021

The Illinois legislature passed and the governor signed into law two (2) important new traffic laws in 2020 that went into effect in 2020. I will also discuss a local Chicago ordinance that went into effect in the new year.

First, as I have been writing about on this blog for years, the Illinois legislature finally stiffened the texting and driving penalties when the accident causes serious injury to another party. Beginning on July 1, 2020 the Illinois secretary of state was enabled to revoke driving privileges for one year when a driver causes “great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement” due to use of an electronic communication device. The offense is also subject to a minimum $1,000 fine. Electronic communication devices include hand-held wireless telephone, hand-held personal digital assistant, or portable or mobile computer. It does not include a GPS or a device that is electronically integrated into the vehicle. 

Second, stronger penalties were enacted for drivers who injured a pedestrian while walking in a cross-walk. This new law establishes a 12-month license suspension for a motorist who, while violating the right-of-way at crosswalks and in school zones, causes serious injury to another person. This law also went into effect on July 1, 2020.

Finally, as I discussed a few months back, part of the city of Chicago’s 2021 budget included increased fines for drivers caught on speeder cameras driving 6 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. The plan states those driving six miles per hour over posted speed limits would get a warning. If a driver is caught twice, they would then receive a $35 ticket in the mail.   This new ordinance took effect in 2021.

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

Teen Driving Deaths Down Drastically In Illinois

According to Illinois Secretary of State, teen traffic fatalities have decreased by 74% since 2007. According to data recently released to the media, there were 41 Illinois teen traffic deaths in 2019 and 48 in 2018. This is compared to 155 in 2007.

Why are they comparing the last two years to 2007? Well, in 2008 Illinois introduced the “graduated driver license” or the GDL, which includes three phases. The first phase is the “permit phase” for 15-year olds, followed by the “initial licensing phase” for 16-17 year olds. Then comes the final “full licensing phase” for those 18-20.

Here is what Illinois Secretary of State had to say about GDLs and the improved numbers: “The goal has always been to save lives. While our graduated driver licensing (GDL) program is working as intended with teen driving deaths decreasing, there is still more work to be done. My hope is that with hard work and continued open communication between my office, teens, parents and driver education teachers, teen fatalities will continue to decline.”

I am impressed by these numbers. The main reason is that the year this law went into effect, was the same time period the I-phone was introduced, which was the same time that the distracted driving epidemic began. We have to give the Illinois legislature and the Secretary of State’s office their credit as this GDL program seems to be working as slowly prepares young people with the training, skill and confidence to drive safely. Let’s hope this trend continues.

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

Are Red Light Cameras Finally Coming To An End In Illinois?

Over the past several years I have written numerous posts about the viability, corruption and safety concerns of red light cameras in and around Chicago. The red light cameras have been scrutinized by the press and scientific communities questioning whether they actually make intersections safer. In fact, a study by Texas A&M and the Chicago Tribune concluded that there was a net zero impact on the red light cameras in Chicago. This led many to conclude that the cameras were merely a money grab by the city.

Due recent corruption charges to various Cook County politicians, we may finally see a roll-back and possible elimination of red light cameras in Illinois. Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski resigned from his position within the County and also his position as mayor of suburbon McCook. hicago Department of Aviation and former top Illinois Department of Transportation official, Bill Helm, was charged with one count of bribery. Both of these individuals apparently have ties to State Senator Martin Sandoval, who plead guilty to charges that he took $250,000 in bribes from SafeSpeed LLC. as the red-light traffic camera company’s protector in the Senate and to help ensure the company was able to install red-light traffic cameras in Chicago suburbs.

The Illinois Legislature has had enough of the corruption and have recently passed bills that would cut down on the use of red light cameras, and possibly completely ban them. House Bill 322 was approved 84-4. non-home-rule communities would not be allowed to install the cameras in the future and would be required to remove any currently operational cameras by the beginning of 2021. That means 45 of the 101 communities in the state with red-light cameras would be forced to remove them.

Senate Bill 2902, if passed, would eliminate red light cameras in entirely throughout the state of Illinois. This is the bill I would like to see passed. I am not sure where Governor Pritzker stands on these bills. Based on the past corruption and the questionable viability as a safety measure, I do no see how these cameras are still allowed to be used in this state. I hope our lawmakers do the right thing.

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

Will County Sheriff Launches Labor Day Traffic Safety Campaign

Will County Illinois, which is adjacent and directly south of Cook County, decided to launch a traffic safety campaign with started August 16 and run through Labor Day weekend. The campaign is aims to stop drunk, unbuckled and distracted drivers.

“Our goal is to help ensure that our community’s residents and visitors make it home safely after the party ends,” Traffic Sergeant Kyle Lakomiak said in a release. “We will be out in force to keep impaired drivers off the roads. If you will be celebrating, we urge you to plan for a sober ride home. It could be a matter of life and death.”

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest traffic weekends of the year. Be sure to to aware of your surroundings, buckle up and put your phone down when behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an Illinois traffic accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Kane County, IL To Hold Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign

According to the Kane County Chronicle, on April 26 the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, AAA Chicago Motor Club, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office and many other agencies will participate in the Kane County High Visibility Enforcement (HiVE) Campaign to help reduce crashes caused by distracted driving.

This campaign will coincide with Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week. Part of the campaign will include the posting of police officers in high collision areas during peak travel times in an attempt to improve safety.

“The aim of the HiVE campaign is to deter drivers through increased visibility and proactive law enforcement from participating in unsafe roadway activities, including distracted driving, and to improve overall driving behavior,” North Aurora Police Chief David Fisher said.

Campaigns like this have become increasingly important to law enforcement as three (3) Illinois State Troopers have been struck by vehicles and killed in 2019.

I will be following up and writing more about Illinois’ Distracted Driving Awareness week later in the month. Remember, as always, put your phone down while driving.

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

April Is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Throughout the month of April, Police departments across the state of Illinois are cracking down on drivers who text while behind the wheel. April is the national distracted driving awareness month, and Illinois’ police departments are taking it seriously.

More than 100 police agencies across the state are planning to add new hands-free driving enforcement zones that will target drivers using their phones, according to the Naperville Police Department.

Despite laws on the books in every state, including Illinois, banning texting and driving, injuries continue to go up due to distracted driving car accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Council approximately 100 people are injured per day in traffic accidents caused by texting and driving. One reason these numbers continue to grow is due to the expansion of wi-fi capabilities on smart phones.

Extra police patrols and other costs related to the Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign are covered by federal funds allocated to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

I think this push to crack down on distracted drivers is encouraging. My only issue is this should not be a one (1) month a year focus. Police departments should have their patrol officers trained to look for distracted drivers on a regular basis, just like they would monitor for drunk drivers.

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