Illinois - Fatal Car Crash Statistics
As of July 13, 2017, Illinois has reported 517 fatal crashes that resulted in 569 deaths. Last year at the same time there were 558 deaths. Of these deaths, 146 were restrained while 112 did not use a seat belt or it was not used correctly. 87 unlicensed drivers were involved in deadly vehicle crashes so far, this year. Unlicensed drivers include those with suspended, revoked, canceled, denied or expired licenses.
Fatal Crashes in Illinois
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) publishes annual reports regarding fatal vehicle crashes based on data gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). In 2015, the latest report, Illinois had 914 fatal crashes that resulted in 998 deaths. Based on population, there were 7.8 fatalities for every 100,000 people in the state. The national average is 10.9.
The statistics also provide information based on the number of deaths out of each 100 million vehicle miles traveled. This makes it easier to compare statistics between states even if they do not have the same population numbers. The Illinois number of deaths is 0.95 as compared with the national figure of 1.13.
There are some additional statistics on the report which is useful. Fatalities on the road are detailed by user type. In 2015 41% of fatal crashes in Illinois were in cars, 23% in SUVs and pickup trucks, 1% large trucks, 14% motorcyclists, 15% pedestrians and 3% bicyclists. 57% of the accidents involved only one vehicle, and 43% involved more than one. 58% occurred in an area classified as urban, and 42% happened in rural locations.
2016 was reportedly one of the most deadly on the roads in almost ten years, this according to a report by Fox Illinois. Illinois Department of Transportation, IDOT, reports that there were 1,076 fatalities on Illinois roads in 2016. This number is the highest since 2007 when there were 1,248 deaths. IDOT officials say that the increase may be due in part to distracted driving and lack of seatbelt use as well as speeding.
New Move Over Law
To improve road safety, a new law went into effect in 2017. Called the “Move Over” law (625 ILCS 5/11-907(c)) it requires drivers to reduce their speed and pull over to a different lane of traffic when they approach a police or emergency vehicle pulled to the side of the road. The law is also known as Scott’s Law, named after a Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant who was killed by a drunk driver while he was helping at a crash scene on the side of the expressway.
Illinois has a plan in place called the Drive Zero Fatalities to a Reality. It is consistent with the Strategic Highway Safety Plan set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The plan focuses on various areas of concern including engineering, education, emergency medical services, enforcement, and evaluation. Traffic safety campaigns are routinely implemented to provide information to drivers to help reduce the number of fatal accidents in the state.