Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) July 31, 2014 – As of late May, traffic fatalities in Illinois have fallen 23 percent compared to the same time period last year. There were 290 highway deaths in the state by May 23 this year, a decrease of 89 fatalities from the same period in 2013.
“The decrease in traffic fatalities is welcome news, and hopefully, it is a trend that will continue,” said Paul Greenberg, a Chicago car accident attorney.
The reasons for the decline in fatal accidents are unclear, but there are several likely possibilities. On January 1, a statewide ban on the use of handheld cell phones while driving went into effect, and the law may be having its desired effect of reducing the number of car accidents caused by distracted
Although winter weather conditions make driving more dangerous, they also discourage drivers from taking to the road. This winter’s snow, ice and cold this
winter may have found fewer people driving, and therefore fewer people crashing. Another factor may be the increase in the speed limit on interstate highways from 65 mph to 70 mph. While higher speeds are usually associated with an increase in fatalities, proponents of the increase in the speed limit had argued that the change would result in more vehicles traveling at the same speed, thereby improving highway safety.
In 2013, there were 992 traffic deaths in Illinois, a rate of 2.72 per day. So far in 2014, the death rate is 2.02 fatalities per day. And if that rate were to continue for the rest of the year, it would result in a death toll of about 737, a 25 percent drop from last year. However, fatalities often increase during the summer months.
Traffic safety experts say that drivers can stay safe on the roads by observing speed limits, wearing seat belts and avoiding distracted or impaired driving.
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