No state in the nation is immune from the dangers posed by car accidents and traffic crashes, and that includes Illinois. With that in mind, the Illinois Department of Transportation monitors collisions and attempts to categorize them, providing insight into the causes behind these accidents and, hopefully, a greater understanding of how to prevent them in the future.
When considering damage, not all car accidents are the same. Those that result only in damage to the vehicles involved or to other property in the area generally are considered less significant than those that cause injuries, and with good reason. The harm that results from a car crash in Chicago or across Illinois can last anywhere from days to weeks to years. In the worst cases, a victim will never fully recover or may lose her life in a crash.
The fallout from a collision extends far beyond those who are involved in the crash itself; often, family members, loved ones, and friends also feel the harm that flows from an accident. Neighbors, coworkers, and associates might also suffer when a car accident takes place. Victims tend to incur medical expenses, suffer from lost wages, and endure pain and suffering when a crash affects them and those around them.
Now, new data from the Illinois Department of Transportation suggests that this harm is increasing in 2015 as more people in Illinois are losing their lives in traffic crashes. So far in 2015, an additional 50 deaths have occurred on roadways in excess of those fatalities that occurred up to this point in 2014. The actual numbers are not clear at this time as it generally takes IDOT some time to finalize and publish its data.
This disturbing trend is being felt outside of Illinois as well as national fatalities are up approximately 14 percent over this time last year.
Experts believe that it is likely a combination of factors that are leading to more deaths on American roads. Among them are an increase in the number of vehicles on the streets and highways, an increase in distracted driving and cell phone use, and continued incidents of drunk and/or impaired driving. To reduce your risk of becoming a victim and to lessen the losses that have been occurring in Illinois, consider the following when driving:
– Focus on the road: While it is tempting to engage in our busy society during a drive, it can be deadly in just a moment. Instead, put down your cell phone and other devices and keep your eye on the task at hand.
– Slow down: Speed is believed to be a factor in 1 out of every 2 car accidents that happen in America. To be safe, make sure you drive within the speed limit or at an appropriate speed if conditions are inclement. Speeding significantly increases the risks of a collision while doing little to help a driver arrive at a destination more quickly so make sure you remember that speeding is not worth it in the long run.
– Never drink and drive: Drunk driving is a crime in Illinois and in every single other state in the country. Here, you will be presumed to be under the influence if your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, though you may be guilty of drunk driving even if you have less alcohol than that in your system. If you will be drinking, use a designated driver or opt for public transit instead of getting behind the wheel of your personal vehicle.
– Know before you go: Confusion, distraction, and other issues arise when a driver is unfamiliar with a route while driving. Instead, take time to plan your trip before you leave home. Review any maps necessary, work through your progression of roads, and be prepared for any other issues like construction zones. Being comfortable while driving can help ensure that you remain safe and collisions-free.
If a car accident in Chicago or anywhere in Illinois has left you injured or has claimed the life of your loved one, contact the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help you understand your legal rights. When you call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575, you will be offered a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation by one of our licensed lawyers. We keep an attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to provide you with the help you need so please call us now.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we only represent injury victims and we never represent insurance companies because we believe in fighting for those who deserve it. If your life has been altered due to a collision, call us now and let us get to work for you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Child Dies Following Hotel Swimming Pool Accident, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 21, 2015.
Car crash fatalities up in Illinois, part of national trend, by Diana Novak Jones, Chicago Sun-Times, published August 21, 2015.