Data compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation states traffic fatalities throughout the state declined in the second half of 2012. According to Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider, an electronic highway message board and social media campaign aimed at alerting drivers to the number of crash deaths helped raise public awareness and may have encouraged drivers to be more careful. Schneider stated it is unclear whether the safety campaign had a direct effect on the rate of Illinois traffic deaths. Still, she believes it may have contributed to a seven month trend in fewer motor vehicle accident fatalities that purportedly began in the latter half of 2012.
Although traffic deaths increased over the previous year by 17 percent from January through July 2012, fatality rates reportedly decreased after the message board campaign began on July 5th. Between July 5th and December 31st, 478 people died on Illinois roadways. Meanwhile, 500 individuals were killed during the same period in 2011.
Despite the campaign, overall accident fatalities in Illinois in 2012 reportedly increased by four percent over the previous year. In 2011, 918 people were killed in 835 Illinois traffic collisions. In 2012, that number rose to 957 dead in 887 separate crashes. In addition, motorcycle driver deaths allegedly increased by more than 15 percent in 2012. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 243 of the 887 fatal accidents in the state last year occurred in Cook County. That number rose from 213 in 2011.
Illinois officials stated the traffic fatality warning messages would continue throughout 2013. Sadly, three people were killed in an Illinois collision during the first week of the New Year. In 2012, however, 15 traffic fatalities occurred across the state during the same time period.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that fatal motor vehicle crashes are three times more likely to occur at night than during the day. About half of all traffic deaths across the country happen when it is dark outside despite that only about one-fourth of all vehicle miles are driven at night. Speeding, alcohol-related, and single-vehicle wrecks are also reportedly more likely to take place at night. If you lost a loved one in a Chicago motor vehicle crash, you may be entitled to recover funeral and other expenses by filing a wrongful death claim. Contact a skilled car accident lawyer to discuss your case.
If you lost a close relative in a traffic or other accident, you should give the hardworking lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596. Our experienced Chicago area car accident lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you file your wrongful death case. For a free consultation with a skilled attorney, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website today.
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Fatal highway crashes dip in second half of 2012, by Jon Hilkevitch, Chicago Tribune