Illinois Seeks to Halt Negligent and Preventable Traffic Deaths

Over the past four years, there were no fatal accidents that involved a United States commercial airline. Unfortunately, during the same four years, at least 100,000 people were killed in preventable traffic collisions across the country. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states more than 32,000 people die in traffic wrecks throughout the nation every year. Authorities in at least half of states would reportedly like to see traffic crash deaths become a thing of the past.

In 2009, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reportedly adopted an aggressive goal of zero traffic deaths as part of an overall strategic highway safety plan. Approximately 30 states have allegedly adopted the same goal. Although experts purportedly claim eliminating all traffic fatalities is not currently possible, the immediate focus of the zero deaths campaign is allegedly on stopping the types of preventable wrecks that normally lead to fatalities.

A study recently conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota reportedly found jurisdictions that focus on education, enforcement, engineering, and providing emergency medical services are the most successful at reducing traffic death rates. As part of the study, researchers compared traffic accident fatalities in a number of states prior to and after zero death campaigns began. According to lead study author and Director of Minnesota’s Center for Excellence in Rural Safety, Lee W. Munnich Jr., targeting resources to priority programs appeared to lower accident fatalities the most significantly. In addition, Munnich stated behavioral challenges such as convincing motorists not to engage in impaired driving were the most difficult risk factors to stop.

IDOT officials claim raising public awareness regarding the societal costs associated with traffic deaths may help reduce crash rates. Many reportedly believe reducing roadway fatalities by at least half is an attainable goal. Since 2009, Illinois has successfully reduced annual crash deaths to a rate that is below 1,000. IDOT officials reportedly believe this is due in large part to an increasing number of motorists and passengers using their seat belts. In 2003, a safety belt violation became a primary traffic offense in Illinois. This means a police officer may stop a vehicle based solely on a seat belt violation. Since then, the compliance rate has risen to an estimated 94 percent. Still, data reportedly shows that about half of all people killed in an Illinois traffic crash were not wearing a seat belt.

If you lost a loved one in a preventable traffic accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death. Certain relatives of someone killed in an automobile crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence may be eligible to recover the costs associated with their relative’s medical bills, funeral expenses, grief, and other damages. A qualified Chicago car accident lawyer can explain your rights in more detail.

If you lost someone close to you in a traffic wreck, you should call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our knowledgeable Chicago car accident attorneys are available to assist you 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Our experienced lawyers are committed to helping clients achieve the compensation they deserve following a deadly traffic accident. To speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney today, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

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Proposed Federal Law Would Require Data Recorders in All New Vehicles Sold in Illinois and Nationwide, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 21, 2013
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Additional Resources:

States driven toward ‘zero death’ crash goal, by Jon Hilkevitch, Chicago Tribune


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