State continues to report decline in number of Chicago car accidents, fatal accidents throughout Illinois

It’s official: Chicago car accidents and accidents elsewhere in Illinois are one again on pace to hit record lows, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported.

As our Chicago injury attorneys have reported both here and on our sister site, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, the numbers of fatal traffic crashes are at record lows across the region. And the 928 fatal Illinois crashes in 2009 were already the fewest in nearly a century of reporting.

IDOT reports the overall number of Illinois traffic fatalities is down by 16.8 percent for the first six months of the year, from 434 in 2009 to 361 in 2010. Safety advocates point to increases in seat belt use and enhanced safety measures, including the state’s new law against text messaging while driving.

However, as we have reported both here and on our sister site, Chicago Car Accidents Lawyers Blog, many experts cite the economic downturn as the main reason for fewer traffic accidents being reported nationwide.

“We are extremely proud of the dedication, hard work and diligence shown by IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety, our partners, and Illinois motorists whose positive efforts have made this historic achievement possible,” said IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig.

The state reports a dramatic improvement in seat-belt usage rates since 2003, from 76.2 percent to 92.6 percent. Only 16 states report seat-belt compliance rates that are as good or better than Illinois’.

Meanwhile, the number of fatal Illinois traffic accidents has steadily declined.

2003: 1,454 2004: 1,355 2005: 1, 363 2006: 1,254 2007: 1,248 2008: 1,043 2009: 928
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