According to Agruss Law Firm, LLC – 535 S Washington St. Suite 29, car accidents are not showing any signs of slowing down soon. Moreover, study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that roadway tragedies have increased steadily since the pandemic, a trend playing out acutely in Illinois. Deaths on Illinois streets and roads have jumped by about 24 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same time the prior year.
Some Statistics on Illinois Fatal Car Accidents in 2022
Car fatalities have reached a 20-year high during the first free months of 2022 in the United States, with more than 9,560 people killed in car crashes. That shows an increase of 7 percent compared to the same period in 2021, and it is the worst total recorded since 2002. This increase was even more significant on Illinois streets, where about 280 traffic fatalities occurred during the first quarter of 2022, a 24 percent increase from the same time in 2021.
By the first six months of 2022, Illinois had lost 584 people in traffic accidents, an 8 percent increase compared to the first six months of 2021 and a 32 percent increase from 2020. Experts state that the second half of the year is generally even worse for traffic fatalities.
Data from the NHTSA shows that speeding and driving without a seatbelt increased during the pandemic and continued in 2022. Moreover, as stated by the Urban Transportation Center, drunk driving and speeding have been the leading causes of Illinois fatal car accidents in 2022. The agency also calls for more attention to the issue of distracted driving because distracted driving accidents and incidents seem to be rapidly increasing.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he would work with President Joe Biden to include billions of dollars in grants in the infrastructure bill as incentives for states to make highways safer. The improvements include safer road design, lower speed limits, bike, and bus lanes, more crosswalks, and better lighting.
The NHTSA plans on making new rules that could require factory installation of emergency braking on all new motor vehicles and standard crash-avoidance features, including lane-keeping assistance. However, there is no firm deadline on when these changes will happen.
The Deadliest Counties in Illinois
Every year, the Illinois Department of Transportation publishes statistics on car accident fatalities and other information related to motor vehicle accidents. According to data, the deadliest counties in Illinois are as follows:
- Cook County with 285 fatal crashes, 30.38 percent
- Will County with 55 fatal crashes, 5.86 percent
- Madison County with 35 fatal crashes, 3.73 percent
- Lake County with 35 fatal crashes, 3.73 percent
- DuPage County with 34 fatal crashes, 3.62 percent
- Kane County with 32 fatal crashes, 3.41 percent
- Winnebago County with 27 fatal crashes, 2.88 percent
- St. Clair County with 25 fatal crashes, 2.67 percent
- McHenry County with 20 fatal crashes, 2.13 percent
- Kankakee County with 18 fatal crashes, 1.92 percent
Legal Options for Surviving Family Members in Illinois
You may have more questions than answers if a loved one dies in a car accident. You might wonder if there is something you can do to take legal action against those who caused the fatal crash. A Chicago car accident lawyer shares: “Illinois courts are authorized to award three different types of damages: Economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.”
Losing a loved one in a preventable motor vehicle accident causes terrible suffering and grief and considerable financial strain. You may be left with overwhelming funeral costs and medical debts. When someone close is killed by another’s party’s reckless or negligent actions, you may be entitled to seek justice through a survivor or wrongful death action.
Damages available to surviving family members may vary. Claims under the Illinois Survival Statute can allow the deceased person’s estate to seek compensation for lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and property damage. However, a claim brought under the Illinois Wrongful Death Statute might allow you to recover compensation for the following:
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the victim’s companionship, support, and care
- Loss of parental guidance to the victim’s children
- Loss of the victim’s financial support
A fatal Illinois car accident can turn your life upside down. That is why seeking help from a car accident attorney is essential to holding the at-fault party responsible and accountable for your loss and pursuing compensation for your damages.