How Serious Are Car Accidents in Illinois?
Illinois experienced 1280 automobile fatalities in 2022, a 4% drop from the high in 2021, but still above pre-pandemic levels. Unfortunately, Illinois saw a 34% jump in the number of people killed in automobile crashes between 2019 and 2021. And this seems to be a trend nationwide. The U.S. witnessed a 19% surge in traffic fatalities between 2019 and 2021, despite a decline in vehicle travel rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report titled "Addressing America's Traffic Safety Crisis" released by TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research organization.
According to another report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, released in October of 2021, the notable rise in traffic fatalities since the start of the pandemic seems to be linked to drivers taking more risks. The report notes that the declaration of a public health emergency in March 2020 led to significant changes in driving patterns and behaviors in the US. While many drivers stayed home, a significant portion of those who were still driving engaged in more hazardous behavior, such as speeding, not wearing seat belts, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This disturbing behavior fueled the rise in traffic fatalities.How Many People Are Killed in Car Accidents in Illinois?
There are far too many people killed in fatal car accidents in Illinois each year. The chart below, from the TRIP report, shows the number of Illinois traffic fatalities, the rate of traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in Illinois, and the rate of vehicle travel in the state in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The numbers should make you rethink any reckless driving habits you may have. Is that text or phone call really worth the risk?What Can Be Done to Improve Safety?
Clearly, strict laws, public awareness, and education are not enough on their own to prevent drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving. Buying a new car with improved safety features such as lane departure warnings, blind spot detection, front collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and over speed warnings is one step drivers can take to help prevent accidents.
However, some experts think that taking the driver out of driving may be the only way to keep innocent people out of harm's way. But that may be a long way off. Forbes indicates that it may be 2045 at the earliest before autonomous cars take over American roads and only when this happens can accidents caused by drunk, negligent, or distracted drivers really be eliminated. In the meantime, the U. S. Department of Transportation is aiming to make our roads safer.Learn About the National Roadway Safety Strategy 2022
In an effort to counter the growing number of fatalities, the U.S. Department of Transportation implemented a comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy in early 2022. The strategy aims to achieve the following objectives and includes the following elements:
- Safer People - Promote safe and responsible behavior by educating the public on safe pedestrian and bicycling practices, the risks of impaired driving and speeding, and the importance of complying with safety belt laws.
- Safer Roads - Develop roadway environments that minimize the impact of human errors, take into account injury thresholds, promote safer driving habits, and facilitate safe travel for the most susceptible road users.
- Safer Vehicles - Increase the accessibility of vehicle technologies that prevent accidents and reduce the impact of collisions for all parties involved, including occupants and non-occupants.
- Safer Speeds - Implementing appropriate roadway features such as traffic roundabouts and curb extensions, utilizing improved signage and dynamic speed signs at high-risk areas, educating the public on the hazards of speeding, and increasing speed enforcement, particularly in high-risk zones.
- Post-Crash Care - Improve the survivability of accidents by providing prompt access to emergency medical care. Establish a safe working environment for crucial first responders by implementing effective traffic incident management practices to prevent secondary crashes. Additionally, expand access to level one or two trauma centers for severely injured crash victims.
If you're injured in a car crash in Illinois, first get medical attention. Next, exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers and any witnesses. Then gather evidence and document the accident as much as possible. All this information will be important in any legal proceedings related to the accident.
Most importantly, seek the advice of an experienced Illinois car accident attorney, as they can assist in protecting your rights, negotiating with insurance companies, and recovering damages for any injuries you sustained in the crash. The experienced car crash lawyers at The Collins Law Firm can take care of all the legal details of your car accident claim, so you can focus on recovering. Call us at (630) 527-1595 for a FREE Evaluation of your auto accident claim today.