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2016 Saw a Record Number of Fatal Car Accidents in Illinois

 Posted on March 10,2017 in Car Accidents

2016 Saw a Record Number of Fatal Car Accidents in IllinoisBad news for drivers: car accident fatality rates in Illinois rose to their highest levels in years in 2016. Last year, there were a reported 1,055 deaths on Illinois roads. This is the first time since 2008 that the number of fatalities has risen over 1,000.

In 2008, there were 1,043 roadway fatalities. In 2009, there were 911 fatalities reported. This was the first time this figure was under 1,000 since 1921. In recent years, the death toll has crept up. In 2014, 924 fatalities were reported, and in 2015, that number jumped to 998.

Nationwide, fatalities have been increasing in recent years. In 2015, there were 38,300 deaths, which was an 8 percent increase from 2014. This increase was the largest annual increase in 50 years.

Why Are Roadway Deaths Up?

The Illinois Department of Transportation believes there are several causes for this increase.

  • More miles are being driven. In-state drivers traveled 1.7 percent more miles in 2016 than 2015. Low gas prices are likely one reason for the increased driving.
  • Seatbelt compliance. Almost half of the people who were killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Driving under the influence. Approximately 25 percent of fatalities involved a drunk or impaired driver.
  • Distracted driving. Between 2009 to 2013, more than 6,000 car accidents occurred when a driver was using a cellphone.
  • Drivers without licenses. Unlicensed drivers were involved in 151 deadly car accidents in 2016.

The decreases the state saw in fatalities in years prior to 2016 are attributed to tougher laws on distracted and impaired driving, focus on teen driving education and increased enforcement of speeding and seatbelt laws.

Wrongful Death Claim

If your loved one was killed in an accident last year, you or your family may be eligible for compensation. While nothing the law can do will be able to replace your loss, there are specific damage awards that may make life without your family member a little easier.

In Illinois, a wrongful death suit must be brought by the personal representative of the decedent's estate. Sometimes the deceased person will appoint such a representative in a will. If there was not an appointment, typically the spouse, parent or adult child of the decedent will be appointed by the court.

Damages awarded in wrongful death cases are paid for the benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin according to the level of dependency these parties had to the decedent.

Contact a Will County Car Accident Lawyer

Fatal car accident cases can be highly complex, and accident victims should at least speak with an attorney before accepting money from an insurance company. Call the Plainfield, IL auto accident attorney of Flaherty Law, LLC at 815-577-7500 to set up your initial consultation.


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