Saturday 19th September 2020
Road accident deaths are increasing in Illinois, according to a recent analysis by the National Safety Council (NSC). In the first quarter of 2020, the state recorded a “very, very worrying” increase in fatal accidents of 11 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic may be partly to blame. Some officials have suggested that more people staying at home have reduced traffic, freed up space on city streets and induced some motorists to drive recklessly. This includes accelerating other drivers and not being careful.
A handful of other statistics paint a picture of what the streets of Chicago are like now – and why we must all use extreme caution when getting behind the wheel.
In Cook County, where Chicago is the county seat, there were 269 fatal accidents in 2018 and 294 fatal accidents in 2019. The county has recorded 170 fatal accidents so far for 2020.
In 2018, there were 118,304 motor vehicle accidents in Chicago. A total of 123 of these accidents were associated with at least one fatality and 21,881 with at least one injury.
Safety experts attribute an increase in accidents in Illinois to overspeeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving.
Distracted driving is due to more people looking at cell phones or their navigation systems in the car. Distracted drivers kill about 10 people a day in the US, according to the CDC. In addition, the American Automobile Association found that even in-vehicle technologies like voice-based texting can distract a driver for more than 40 seconds – an eternity when you’re behind the wheel.
The Chicago Department of Transportation recently warned of a 14 percent speed increase on city streets.
When you put these statistics together, it paints a grim picture of the streets of Chicago. But each and every one of us drivers is helping to make these roads and highways safer. Obey the speed limit and obey the traffic rules. Use caution when driving through construction sites or other complicated areas. Never use a handheld device behind the wheel. Instead, use hands-free settings for your technology or leave those devices alone until you’re no longer on the go.
If you have an accident, it is important to take certain steps immediately after the crash. Call the police who will write an accident report. Gather your own evidence and, even if the injuries are minor, see your doctor and keep a record of these visits. You may also need to seek advice from a lawyer. Fortunately, with auto accident lawyers in Chicago, you have a ton of experienced lawyers to choose from.
© 2020 by Clifford Law Offices PC. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 263