Last year was difficult for everyone. COVID-19 hit early in the year, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths around the country, and job losses in Illinois and throughout the nation were rampant. Shelter-in-place orders were issued in the spring and kept many people at home for months, which kept people off of the roads. However, according to a new report, while there were fewer people on the road, there were also more traffic fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published statistics that show just how many people were killed on the roads, and they are pleading with the public to keep safety in mind when they get behind the wheel. If you have lost a loved one in a car crash, it is important to speak to an experienced lawyer who can help with your case.
Traffic Fatalities in Illinois and Around the Country in 2020
The statistics from the NHTSA encompass January through September 2020. In the first nine months of last year, there were 28,190 traffic fatalities across the country, an increase from 26,941 during the same time period in 2019.
The news in Illinois is not much better. Within the state, there were approximately 1,166 fatalities on the roads, which was an increase of 16 percent from 2019, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The 2019 figures also represent the most fatalities on state roads since 2007. The reason for the increase in both the state and the nation seems to be drivers acting recklessly behind the wheel.
Reasons for the Increase in Fatal Accidents
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the biggest factor that contributed to the increase in fatalities was speeding. Speeding drastically impacts the severity of car crashes, and while there were fewer total accidents during the first nine months of last year, emergency agencies were called to the scene of more crashes.
The NHTSA also gave other reasons for the increase in fatalities. The agency found that 65 percent of people treated in trauma centers had drugs or alcohol in their system, which was a significant increase from the percentage prior to the pandemic. The NHTSA also stated that fewer people were buckling up before heading out onto the roads.
The Importance of Driving Safely
Of course, all drivers should act reasonably and drive safely, which includes driving with a blood alcohol concentration lower than the legal limit, wearing a seat belt, and complying with the speed limits. This is the only way drivers can keep themselves and everyone else on the road safe. When these safety measures are not used while driving, motorists can be found negligent if they cause an accident that results in injuries, and they can be held liable for the victim’s damages.
Contact a McHenry County Car Accident Lawyer
If you have lost someone due to the negligence of another driver, our skilled Crystal Lake car accident attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC are here to help you recover the compensation you need. Contact us today at 815-338-3838 to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.