Nine people are injured every hour in Illinois car accidents

Statistics show traffic accidents are on the rise, while fatalities are down

Recent statistics have shown a mixed picture concerning traffic safety in Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, motor vehicle accidents have increased across the state, but fatalities, although still stubbornly high, have declined. Experts warn that with the Great Recession over and oil prices dropping, accidents are likely to continue increasing as drivers will be more able to afford spending greater time on the road. Despite the fewer fatalities, bad driving behaviors, like speeding and drunk driving, continue to account for a high number of wrecks.

Two people die each day

Statistics from 2013 show that there were 782 accidents per day in the state in 2013, which is the highest rate since 2008, when accidents declined dramatically due to many drivers' staying off the road due to the economic squeeze. On average, two people died every day in 2013 in car accidents in Illinois while nine people were injured per hour.

The fatality rate for 2014, fortunately, appears to have declined, according to the Jacksonville Journal Courier. Preliminary numbers show that 910 people died in traffic accidents in Illinois last year, down from 991 deaths in 2013. It marks the sixth year that fatalities have remained under the 1,000 mark, and officials note that as recently as ten years ago traffic deaths were exceeding 1,300 per year.

Bad driving still to blame

The decrease in fatalities is being attributed to safety measures taken by officials, car makers and drivers themselves. Vehicle engineering has improved considerably in recent years, meaning more people are able to walk away from serious wrecks. Additionally, officials have been installing more rumble strips and guardrails along highways in the state. Increased seat belt use is also playing a significant role in the lower fatality rate.

The increase in traffic accidents themselves, however, shows that bad driving remains a persistent problem. Speeding was a factor in a third of all crashes and drinking was likewise a factor in a third of all fatal crashes. Experts also worry that accidents are likely to increase in the coming months with oil prices so low, allowing more drivers to stay on the road longer without worrying about the cost of gas.

Help after an accident

While the fact that traffic fatalities are down in Illinois is certainly good news, it is disheartening to see that negligent and reckless driving is still a major factor in so many accidents. Such dangerous behavior threatens the safety of everybody else on the road and, even in accidents that are not fatal, the physical and emotional scars for victims can last a lifetime.

For those who have been injured in an accident, a personal injury attorney should be contacted as soon as possible. Especially if an accident is caused by another driver's dangerous behavior, it is important to look into any additional claims that victims may be entitled to. An experienced attorney can help accident victims understand what those claims are and what compensation may be available to help in their recovery from a serious accident.