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Car accident fatalities in Illinois reach alarming numbers

The Illinois State Police recently expressed their concern over the alarming increase in fatalities on the state's roads. A spokesperson for District 16 reported that the year to date increase in car accident fatalities in that district is 133 percent. State Police say that up to April 21, 289 lives had been lost on Illinois roadways this year, compared to 231 for the same period last year. That is a disturbing increase -- particularly considering that statistics show that over 94 percent of vehicle occupants are buckling up their seatbelts.

Authorities have identified three areas that have proved to be the most hazardous, and it was said that the high speed limit in these areas may contribute to the high fatality rate. Officials are reportedly working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to lower speed limits to 55 mph in areas where the current limit is 65 mph. Authorities said the number of brake marks left in the zones with 65 mph speed limits is evidence enough of the hazards presented by such high speeds.

Officials mentioned that an incident in which a deer crashes through a windshield can be devastating, and it can be called an accident. However, he noted that all other incidents caused by excessive speed, distractions, negligence and more are crashes, rather than simply accidents. Authorities also recognize the fact that children often remind adults about the dangers of texting or talking on mobile phones and the importance of buckling up. For this reason, they are also getting the message about safe driving to schools and encouraging children to be aware of what their parents do while driving.

An Illinois resident who has lost a loved one in a fatal car accident retains the right to pursue financial relief to assist with end-of-life expenses and other monetary losses. By establishing negligence on the part of another individual to substantiate a wrongful death claim in a civil court, the surviving family members may be entitled to a monetary award. Once the court has determined financial liability, it will adjudicate documented claims for emotional and financial losses.

Source: wifr.com, "Illinois State Police Alarmed by 133% Increase in Traffic Deaths", Eric O'Brien, April 21, 2016

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