Speed, distractions up as causes of fatal Illinois road crashes

According to a new study by an auto insurance company, Illinois crash fatalities rose 11 percent from 2013 to 2017 (the most recent year for which complete data is available). The state had 911 killed on our streets and highways in 2013 and 1,096 fatalities in 2017.

The research by Esurance looked at the four major causes of crashes in Illinois: excess speed, drunk driving, drugged driving and distracted driving.

According to the study, 42.5 percent of fatal crashes in 2013 involved excess speed. While that percentage fell slightly for three years, it rose back to an almost identical percentage in 2017: 42.2.

The percentage of alcohol-related crashes fell steadily in the Land of Lincoln over the five-year study period, however, starting at 32.7 percent in 2013, then falling to 30.3 percent a year later, 29.3 percent in 2015, and then 28.3 percent in 2016 and finally, 27.3 percent in 2017.

The percentage of drug-related fatal wrecks started at 5.1 percent in 2013, then rose to 7.8 percent in 2015 before falling back to 3.8 percent in 2016 and 2017.

Distracted driving had a nearly unbroken upward march on the list of road fatalities, beginning at 5.6 percent in 2013 and winding up at 7.2 percent in 2017.

The study shows that while distracted driving and drunk driving are often prominent in headlines about road safety, the biggest contributor to fatal crashes continues to be those who drive at excess speeds. As everyone who has driven knows, speed reduces the amount of time you have to react to the unexpected and it also makes collisions more violent, damaging and deadly.

If you or your family has been harmed by a speeding, drunk, drugged or distracted driver, contact an Edwardsville attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.