Illinois is moving to a new phase in an effort to reopen the economy. As shelter-in-place orders are lifted and more cars are on the road, however, we must not forget to do our part to prevent car accidents.
Unfortunately, some drivers thought that having fewer cars on the road this past couple of months gave them a license to speed and drive recklessly. As a result, in many areas around the country, despite overall accidents being down, fatalities have gone up. Fatal accidents in Connecticut are 40% higher than last year, even though traffic is down 50%. And in Minnesota, fatalities are twice what they were last year. Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Missouri are likewise reporting that fatality rates for car accidents have risen during the pandemic.
Speeding has always been a leading factor in car crash deaths and highway officials say it is a big contributor to the current increase in fatalities. In many parts of the country, speeding tickets for people driving 20-40 miles per hour over the speed limit are up from last year. Highway patrols in California alone issued 2500 tickets to drivers going over 100 miles per hour.
There are multiple problems with driving this fast: drivers can lose control of their car more easily, seat belts and airbags are less effective at preventing injuries, and cars need more time and distance to slow down. All of these factors contribute to making speeding the number one cause of car crash fatalities.
In response to state officials reporting a major increase in speeding, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) urged drivers to slow down. Now, as the country reopens, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt is repeating that same message, asking drivers not to speed or drive distracted.
As car accident attorneys, we see too often the devastating impact of speeding and distracted driving. We urge everyone to stop engaging in these deadly and dangerous behaviors as Illinois returns to normal.
If you have been injured in an accident with a speeding or distracted driver, we can help. Please call our team of car crash attorneys at (630) 527-1595 for a FREE evaluation of your case.