Authorities hope for fewer fatal Illinois car accidents

As it makes a final push through the Holiday season, Illinois’ Operation Save 100 reported that 204 agencies had arrested 1,814 people for drunk driving and issued almost 10,000 seat belt citations.

The Chicago car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes remind motorists that the new year’s weekend is typically one of the deadliest on the roads as heavy traffic, winter driving accidents, and Chicago drunk driving accidents pose a danger to holiday motorists.

As reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog, the state launched the program Nov. 11 and hopes to reduce Illinois traffic fatalities by 100 lives through the end of the year. At launch, 781 had died on Illinois roads in 2009, compared to 883 during the same period last year.

The statewide enforcement effort focuses on the deadly nighttime hours and includes roadside safety checks, safety belt enforcement zones and police patrols looking for impaired drivers and safety belt law violators, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“There is no doubt that many serious crashes occur at night,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “This high visibility enforcement effort comes at a time of year when lots of people are traveling across the state and nation, so it is a good time to focus on safety, especially during the holidays.”

IDOT reports nearly 7 of 10 Illinois traffic fatalities occuring between midnight and 3 a.m. involve a drunk driver.

Saving 100 lives would also save $100 million — the state estimates each road fatality costs about $1.2 million.

While fatal Illinois traffic accidents have been declining — from 1,248 in 2007 to 1,043 last year — Illinois is one of only 10 states to log more than 1,000 traffic deaths per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago car accident attorneys and the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.