Every year, the Illinois Department of Transportation releases a report summarizing information about motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. The data in these reports is always two years old, but we wanted to review some of the information collected in the most recent one for our readers. So, here are five things to know about car crashes in Illinois:
- The Number of Accidents Increased Over the Prior Year
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, during 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 313,316 motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. This represented an increase of 6% over the number of car accidents in 2014. In fact, 2015 also saw increases in the numbers of crashes in which someone was injured (up 8% to roughly 66,000) or killed (up 8% to 914).
To put these figures in perspective, on average, 858 automobile accidents occurred every day in Illinois in 2015, killing almost 3 drivers or passengers each day, and injuring more than 10 individuals every hour.
- Drunk Driving Kills
To measure intoxication, the government relies on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A person’s BAC depends on how much alcohol is in his or her blood at a given time. In Illinois, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08 or greater.
Of the 914 fatal crashes during 2015, 28% involved alcohol. 41% of drivers killed in an accident whose BAC was measured had a BAC of 0.01 or greater, and nearly 35% had a BAC that exceeded the legal limit. Worse still, more than half of the motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents had a BAC of 0.01 or more.
- Motorcycle Accidents Are Disproportionately Fatal
Motorcycles were involved in just over 1% of all Illinois crashes. Yet, despite representing such a small fraction of accidents overall, motorcycles accounted for nearly 16% of fatal crashes. Similarly, the 147 motorcycle fatalities in 2015—which represented a 25% increase over the prior year—accounted for around 15% of all deaths.
- Safety Features Make a Difference
Finally, we should highlight the significance of using appropriate safety precautions. For example, in fatal car accidents for which seat belt usage was recorded, a full 45% of drivers and passengers killed neglected to use a seat belt. Likewise, of the 147 motorcyclists and passengers killed in 2015, nearly three out of four were not wearing a helmet of any kind.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents are Expensive
Relying on data from the National Safety Council, the Illinois Department of Transportation estimates that the total cost of Illinois crashes in 2015 was $7.4 billion, including amounts spent and income not received because of a crash. These costs were broken out as follows:
- Each fatality cost more than $1.5 million.
- Each injury that left a person incapacitated cost $90,000.
- Each apparent injury other than an incapacitating injury cost $26,000.
- Each injury other than an incapacitating or apparent injury cost $21,400.
- Each crash involving only property damage cost $11,400.
Of course, these are only estimates. Some people may incur more costs than these, and some may have lower costs. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident in Illinois, you should contact the experienced attorneys of Costa Ivone, LLC for a free case evaluation. They can help you determine the extent of your damages resulting from the accident and—better yet—help you recover what you deserve.