Illinois car crash deaths are way down this year, according to an article recently published by the Chicago Tribune. 16 people have died in fatal Illinois auto accidents as of January 11, 2008, which is down from 37 last year. As of today’s date of January 21, 2008 the number of fatals is 38, which is down from 71 at this time in 2007, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). There have been 12 fatal auto accidents in Chicago and 15 deadly car crashes in all of Cook County, Illinois.
Last year 1,245 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions in Illinois, which is actually the lowest number of fatal accidents since 1924. That is an amazing statistic if you consider how few cars were on the road back then as compared to 2007. The state’s goal is to keep the number of auto accident related deaths in Illinois below 1,000. Illinois is currently on pace for only 660 fatalities.
If the State again has record low car crash fatalities, an interesting question is how it was accomplished. I am sure if you visit IDOT’s and the governor’s website, they will take a lot of credit and talk about their law enforcement and safety strategies. There is nothing wrong with that, however, I have to guess it has a lot to do with advancements in automobile safety technology. It seems that cars and trucks are safer every year.
I am always amazed every time I get into a friend’s into a new SUV and there are more safety gadgets in the car than there were the year before. For example, SUVs now have rear view cameras and back up warning systems to prevent you from hitting anything in reverse.
I am not saying the State has nothing to do with fewer deaths on the road. The Illinois seat belt law has to be a big factor. Out of hundreds of people I know, I can only think of one person that still does not buckle up when driving. I can remember not long ago when some people did wear seat belts, and some people did not. Today, the norm is to buckle up.