As vehicle technologies focused on safety continue to advance, people in Illinois might believe that fewer crashes should take place or that the injuries experienced in crashes should be less severe than those experienced in older vehicles without today’s modern safety features. Unfortunately, even the best technology seems to be unable to prevent drivers from making very poor and negligent choices that put innocent people in harm’s way.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of vehicular fatalities involving alcohol and excessive speed have been on the increase in Cook County after a dip in these deaths between 2013 and 2014. In 2013, 97 people died in drunk driving accidents and 119 people died in crashes in which speed was a factor. The following year, those numbers dropped to 85 and 103, respectively.

The county’s alcohol-related fatalities increased to 66 in 2015, 81 in 2016 and then 109 in 2017. Speed-related deaths dropped one more year to 88 in 2015 but then increased to 111 in 2016 and 143 in 2017. Overall fatalities for the county jumped for three years in a row from 235 in 2014 to 239 in 2015 to 268 in 2016 and then 287 in 2017. Statewide accident deaths also climbed during this period of time. In 2014, there were 924 vehicular fatalities in Illinois. In 2017, 1,097 people were killed in accidents across the state. More work is clearly needed to get the message out about making wise choices when driving.

If you would like to learn more about what you should do after you or someone in your family has been involved in an automobile accident, please feel free to visit the motor vehicle crash assistance page of our Illinois personal injury website.