IDOT Hopes to Reduce Preventable Traffic Fatalities by Publishing Statistics on Highway Message Boards in Chicago and Throughout the State

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), 957 people died in a traffic accident in Illinois in 2012. If you travel on one of the freeways or tollways located throughout the state, you likely already knew that. As part of a statewide safety campaign, IDOT message boards across the State of Illinois have alerted drivers to the overall traffic accident fatality rate as it steadily climbed since last summer. According to IDOT’s Director of Traffic Safety, John Weber, the safety campaign is planned to continue throughout 2013.

The decision to use highway message boards to publish traffic death numbers was reportedly made last May. At that time, accident fatality rates were up by 65 over the same time in 2011. Weber stated although only 39 more individuals died in an Illinois crash in 2012 than in 2011, it is currently unclear whether the signs had an effect on the car accident death rate during the last half of the year. Still, Weber reportedly remains optimistic that the safety campaign may be beneficial to Illinois motorists. He added that most drivers approve of using the signs in an effort to increase both motorist and passenger safety.

According to Weber, during the first week of 2013, there were only three traffic deaths throughout Illinois. In 2012, that number was at least 12. IDOT data shows that as of the end of February, however, crash deaths are up over 2012. 17 of those traffic deaths reportedly occurred in Chicago and 31 people were killed in a Cook County collision.

Fatal traffic crashes may be caused by any number of factors including speeding, driver impairment, carelessness, or simple negligence. In addition, many vehicle accident deaths allegedly result from a driver or passenger’s failure to utilize a seat belt. All individuals traveling in an automobile in Illinois are required to wear a safety belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims more than 12,000 lives were saved by safety belt use across the country in 2009. Using a seat belt also allegedly decreases the risk of catastrophic injury and death for passengers riding in the front seat of a vehicle by almost half.

In 2011, approximately 84 percent of Americans reportedly fastened their safety belt when riding in a passenger vehicle. Seat belt use is supposedly higher in primary enforcement states like Illinois. Primary enforcement means a law enforcement official may stop a motorist based solely on a violation of the seat belt law. For unexplained reasons, motorists and passengers are allegedly more likely to travel in a car without utilizing a safety restraint at night. The NHTSA also found that fatal automobile crashes are three times more likely to occur at night than during the day. If you lost a family member in a Chicago car accident, you may be entitled to recover funeral expenses and other damages. If you have questions about your right to recovery, you should contact a quality wrongful death attorney to discuss your case.

If someone you love was the victim in a fatal Chicago vehicle crash, do not hesitate to call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 924-7575. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our hardworking Chicago wrongful death lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to answer your questions and help you file your case. To speak with a dedicated personal injury lawyer today, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

More Blogs:

Red Light Camera Battle Rages in Illinois and Across Nation, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 27, 2013
Teen Dies in Tragic Drowning Accident on Premises of College Campus in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2013
Additional Resources:

IDOT To Continue Displaying Traffic Fatality Figures On Highway Signs,


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