Illinois Experiences Fatal Crash Increases of Historic Nature
Posted on September 7th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
“Increases of Historic Nature”- Illinois Fatal Car Crashes
According to the National Safety Council Statistics Manager Ken Kolosh, the death toll on Illinois roadways has increased and is exceeding past years. Kolosh said, “These are increases of historic nature.”
So far, Illinois State Police District 16 has experienced 40 deaths for the year which includes counties of Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson and Jo Davies. Last year’s total for the year was 30 and is on pace to possibly exceed 60 by the end of the year.
“The trends are going in the wrong direction. When you look at research from other countries, we are actually one of the least safe countries among developed countries, when you look at safety”, said Kolosh.
Factors for Increase
According to the National Safety Counsel, the absolute reasons are difficult to pinpoint but said factors such as improved economy and more people taking to the roads are probably contributing to the increase. Also, a recent speed limit increase on some Illinois roads may be contributing to the crash numbers. State troopers continue to say that impaired driving and distracted driving continue to have an important role in car crashes.
The Midwest has the lowest seat belt usage in the country. From fatal crash results, it has been determined that Midwesterners only use their seat belts 81.7% of the time while drivers in the West use theirs 95% of the time. The South has a usage rate of 89.2% and the Northeast, 88.1%. For some inane reason, Midwesterners continue to fail to use their seat belts even though it has been proven that seat belts save lives and reduce the severity of injuries overall. If you are buckled in, you cannot generally be ejected from a vehicle which again, generally results in death if not catastrophic injuries.
According to troopers, alcohol and illegal drugs were present in 41 percent of District 16’s deadly crashes. Speeding played a role in more than 50% of the crashes and in 23 percent of the incidents people were not wearing seat belts. Drunk driving awareness has been thoroughly tackled by safety organizations and still yet, some make the negligent choice to drink and drive.
Fewer things raise fury among the population than seeing a needless death or injury due to someone drinking and driving—rightfully so. It is not as if we have not been educated on the safety hazards and irresponsible behavior of choosing to drive once you’ve consumed alcohol.
Illinois State Police Lt Carl Heintz said, “If it’s a phone, if it’s a book, whatever it may be, you need to keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on what you’re doing”. Seems obvious, right? While it seems obvious that you should not be reading, on your smart phone or multi-tasking in any way while driving, drivers continue to engage in this dangerous type of behavior.
Inattentiveness is the number one cause of car crashes which includes texting and driving. While states have made bans on texting and driving for commercial carriers, many municipalities have enacted their own ban on ALL texting and driving-distracted driving.
Still, individuals continue to be on their phones, lap tops and tablets while driving. Distracted driving can include eating, texting, operating a cell phone, dealing with your children, playing with controls and putting on makeup or other grooming behaviors. It is irresponsible the types of behaviors researchers still see from people behind the wheel.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there have been 727 fatalities this year as of September 6, 2016 out of 673 car crashes. Of those, 245 are reported as non-restrained and 148 as improperly restrained. Counties in Illinois that have experienced higher fatalities include Winnebago, Lake, Kane, Du Page, Cook, Will and St. Clair.
Fatal Crashes- Wrongful Death Claims
At The Cagle Law Firm, we represent those seriously injured or families of those fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes . Illinois wrongful death claims are unique in nature and can prove complex for an individual. In reality, any wrongful death claim an individual attempts to make without the aid of an attorney is seriously disadvantaged.
One, if you have lost a loved one, filing legal documents ranks pretty low on your priority list. Simply trying to put the remaining pieces of your family together and moving through daily tasks can prove challenging. Likewise if you’ve been seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash.
Secondly, insurance companies just treat individuals different than they do those individuals with legal representation. By obtaining legal representation, you no longer have that responsibility and headache of negotiating with insurance company(s). Unless you negotiate on a daily basis with insurance adjusters, you have no idea just what kind of mess you may be entering.
If you have a medical need, you see a doctor; if you have an electrical need, you call an electrician; thus, if you have a legal matter, you call a legal professional.