According to a report issued by the Chicago Tribune, the number of traffic accidents in the state of Illinois increased approximately 4 percent in 2013, with an average of 742 motor vehicle accidents each day. Unfortunately, the number of fatalities on Illinois roadways has risen slightly as well, for the second year in a row. While the numbers are still significantly lower than they were 10, or even 20 years ago, they are still disturbing.
Experts have said that the recent rise in traffic accidents in Illinois reflect normal fluctuations that have been observed nationally, but other safety experts have said that the rise may be partially due to lower gasoline prices and drivers logging more miles.
Data collected by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) revealed that an average of just more than two people lose their lives every day due to motor vehicle accidents in the state, and more than nine are injured per hour. According to the report, nearly half of the Illinois auto accidents in 2013 occurred in Cook County alone, with 137,271 total accidents and an unfortunate 250 fatalities. The city of Chicago saw approximately 130 fatalities. Alarmingly, 34 of those fatalities were pedestrians and three were bicyclists.
While efforts to maintain safer roadways and enhance public attentiveness have had some impact in recent years, bad decisions by drivers are still to blame for the majority of accidents. According to the Illinois Crash Facts & Statistics report:
It is hoped that increased seat belt usage due to the Illinois primary belt law, the ban on cell phone usage, and increased enforcement of traffic laws will help make Illinois roadways safer.