New estimates from the National Safety Council show a 24 percent rise in traffic fatalities in Illinois in recent years. The state ranks sixth for the largest increase in fatalities since 2014.
In 2015, there was an eight percent increase in traffic fatalities over the previous year, marking the largest year-to-year increase in traffic fatalities in 50 years.
According to preliminary data from the first half of 2016, the nation is on track to surpass that number again. From January to June, there was a nine percent increase in traffic fatalities.
Factors that may be contributing to increased traffic deaths include lower fuel prices and a stronger economy. However, experts think distracted driving may play a larger role.
The steady rise in distracted driving accidents in recent years suggests that distracted driving may be more deadly than originally thought.
The Rise of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This can include texting and driving, using a hands-free device, playing social media games like Pokémon Go, and adjusting the radio.
More and more motorists are using their phones while behind the wheel for more than just texting, and it is leading to a rise in distracted driving accidents.
According to a recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one in five car accidents involves a distracted driver. Additionally, 31 percent of drivers ages 18 to 64 admit to emailing or texting while driving.
An AT&T study found that as many as 61 percent of study participants admit to texting while driving and 33 percent admit to sending an email while behind the wheel.
The President of the National Safety Council is shocked by the significant increase in traffic deaths and urges motorists to put their phones down while driving and to take other important safety precautions.
Distracted driving accidents can have devastating consequences. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, do not hesitate to contact our Chicago wrongful death lawyers to learn more about your legal options for seeking compensation.