Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says she has set a goal to eliminate traffic deaths
in the state, but that ambitious target is slamming into a harsh reality in 2012.
Traffic fatalities increased 17 percent statewide from January through July, compared with the same period in 2011, Schneider told a reporter, citing 559 deaths during the first seven months of this year, up from 478 fatalities during the same period a year ago.
"We have seen increases in fatal accidents
on interstate highways, on U.S. and state routes, and on city streets," Schneider said. "It seems to be spread over the entire system, and federal officials tell us the numbers are trending up across the nation."
website updates fatal crash numbers every weekday, but officials cautioned that the most recent numbers are provisional, based on data submitted to IDOT by local law enforcement and transportation agencies. The statistics can change because of factors that include injured crash victims dying sometime after crashes occurred.
A total of 918 people were killed in traffic crashes in Illinois in all of 2011, down slightly from 927 deaths in 2010, IDOT data show. The last time the state toll surpassed 1,000 was in 2008, when 1,043 people died.
Going back to 1920, when 728 crash fatalities were reported, the highest toll on record was 2,600 in 1941. Since 2000, the total has risen to as high as 1,454, in 2003, according to IDOT
Transportation officials attributed the higher death toll in part to an increase in driving this year, which was likely sparked by mild weather early in 2012. While the number of vehicle miles traveled on roads in Illinois decreased over the past few years, partially because of the weak economy and high fuel prices, vehicle miles increased 0.69 percent through the first six months of 2012, IDOT
spokesman Guy Tridgell said.
If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in DuPage County
can help you to maximize your possible benefits and answer any questions you may have about personal injury law in DuPage County