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Are Illinois Car Accident Rates on the Rise Despite COVID-19?

Posted on in Car Accident

Schaumburg auto accident attorney

With mandatory stay-at-home orders in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, Illinois roads have been emptier over the past few months than they have been in a long time. Fewer commuters going to work and hardly any restaurants open for indoor seating have compelled many people to stay at home and off the roads. Surprisingly, despite the fewer number of cars seen on the streets, motor vehicle fatality rates have actually increased in the past few months. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), Illinois is one of the states that has seen this increased fatality rate, leaving a number of Illinois residents incurring serious to fatal injuries because of a car accident.

Looking at the Numbers

The United States as a whole saw a 14 percent increase in fatality rates per mile driven in March. This is especially surprising since most stay-at-home orders were at their strictest during this time as the coronavirus became identified as a rampant issue throughout the country. Illinois itself had an 11 percent increase in roadway deaths within the first three months of the year. One would think that fewer drivers on the road would result in a lower number of vehicle collisions, but the NSC president notes that many see these open roads as invitations for reckless driving. With fewer cars on the road, safety concerns have been disregarded by many motorists, leading to these increased statistics. Speeding has increased since the start of the pandemic, with the idea that fewer drivers mean typical speed limits are no longer necessary for safety.

Recommendations from the NSC

In order to address this spike in fatalities, the NSC has provided the following urgent guidelines to keep drivers safe on the roads:

  1. Pay attention to your state and local instructions on driving during the stay-at-home order. Many states have asked drivers to stay off the roads unless it is an emergency.

  2. Speed limits still apply during this time and must be followed, no matter how empty the roads may be.

  3. Pedestrians and bikers have likely increased in number due to the stay-at-home order. As a driver, you should always be vigilant of anyone on the road, especially those who are not in a car and do not have the additional protection that a vehicle provides.

  4. Defensive driving should still be practiced. Seat belts are required, driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is illegal, and drowsy driving should be avoided at all costs.

Call an Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyer

Regardless of the number of cars on the road, all drivers should be following the rules of the road and obeying traffic laws. Unfortunately, even those who do practice safe driving techniques may be injured in an accident. This can lead to life-altering injuries that leave you with expensive hospital bills and an inability to work. At Newland & Newland, LLP, we help our clients secure appropriate compensation to help pay for their medical treatments and lost work time. We work tirelessly for our clients and create unique defense tactics for each case. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our Schaumburg car accident attorneys at 847-797-8000 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2020/05/22/Motor-Vehicle-Fatality-Rates-Up-14-Percent-in-March-Despite-COVID19.aspx?Page=2

https://www.nsc.org/in-the-newsroom/motor-vehicle-fatality-rates-jump-14-in-march-despite-quarantines

https://news.wttw.com/2020/05/20/illinois-traffic-deaths-rise-2020-safety-group-warns

 

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