The Illinois Department of Transportation's Division of Traffic Safety is beginning to review traffic statistics from 2012 and it appears that the state's traffic fatalities may have increased by as much as 5 percent last year. According to the State Journal-Register, the mild winter may have led to increased traffic in 2012 and thus increased car accidents.
Although the numbers are yet to be finalized IDOT is reporting that there were 963 traffic fatalities in 2012 compared to 918 in 2011. Illinois was not alone as apparently several other states also saw an increase in fatal car accidents last year.
The Illinois State Police along with IDOT and other authorities are meeting to work to reverse this unfortunate trend. Drivers here in the Edwardsville area may have noticed that messages have been posted on electronic signs in the state to let people know about the spike in fatal car accidents. This is meant to make drivers think about what they are doing and appreciate the risks.
While traffic fatalities may have been on the rise in 2012, the big picture does look like things are getting better, according to transportation officials. Traffic deaths hit a peak in Illinois in 1941 with 2,600, ultimately beginning a steady fall in the 1970s, falling below 1,000 in 2009 for the first time since the 1920s.
The overall decline has been attributed to more information about the risks of drinking and driving as well as the evolution of safer vehicles.
Nonetheless, even with knowledge about all of the risks of poor driving decisions and habits, fatal and serious car accidents continue to occur because of the negligent decisions of some. There are laws in place that aim to prevent this, and when a driver makes a decision that causes injury or death to another, it is possible to hold that driver accountable and obtain compensation.
Source: The State Journal-Register, "Mild weather likely contributor to more traffic deaths in 2012,"John Reynolds, Jan. 12, 2013
Our Southern Illinois law firm helps victims of car accidents obtain compensation. To learn more about this area of our practice, please visit our Car Accident page.