Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the year 2020 is shaping up to be quite surprising, in terms of road safety statistics. A report in May tracked a “very, very disturbing 11% increase” in Illinois car crash fatalities in the first three months of 2020, compared to the first three months of 2019. While Illinois isn’t alone — the same study found that nationwide crash fatalities increased 14% in March — the data is nevertheless interesting, and reiterates why road safety is so important; even when roads seem clear during a pandemic.
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2020 Car Crash Statistics in Illinois
Note: The following data is from January 1 – July 28, 2020
- In Chicago, there has been a 14% increase in speeding, part of a dangerous trend of dangerous driving during the coronavirus pandemic
- The majority of crash fatalities in Illinois happen on city streets, accounting for 192 deaths, as of July 28, 2020. It may come as a surprise, but interstate crash fatalities are not nearly as numerous:
- Interstate: 90 fatalities
- State/US Routes: 142 fatalities
- County-Township: 101 fatalities
Types of fatalities
- Motorcyclists: 58
- Involving Semi-Trucks: 56
- In Work Zones: 15
- Pedalcyclist: 11
- 83 fatalities were caused by unlicensed drivers
- Seat belts were not used or were used improperly by 119 people involved in fatalities
Past Illinois Car Crash Statistics
- In 2018,
- there were 319,146 crashes, an increase of 7,467 from the previous year. Fatal crashes (951) accounted for less than 1% of these crashes. In an estimated 261 of these fatalities, seat belts were not used or were improperly used.
- Around 874 traffic crashes occurred per day.
- 27% of the 951 fatal crashes involved alcohol.
- In 2017,
- there were 311,679 total crashes in Illinois. Around 21.5% of these crashes involved injuries (66,889), while fatal crashes (998) accounted for less than 1%.
- around 70% of all crashes occurred between 8AM and 8PM. More than 75% of these occurred on urban roadways.
- the timeframe with the most crashes on average in Illinois is 4-8PM.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Crash in Illinois
The answer to these questions depends on the severity of injuries and damage. According to the Illinois State Police, “Each driver involved in an Illinois traffic crash must file a crash report if the crash caused a death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 of property damage when all drivers are insured. If any driver does not have insurance, the threshold remains $500. If a police officer does not appear on the scene, you need to file a report with the local police department, sheriff’s office, or Illinois State Police as soon as possible.”
If the crash occurred on a freeway in the Chicago metropolitan area (Cook County), drivers should file a report in person with a trooper within ten days of the incident. Illinois tollway crashes should be reported to ISP District 15 and can be contacted at (630) 241-6800.
Illinois Drivers Should Heed the Warning
There is something to be said about traffic congestion—it helps maintain or decrease speed. Decreased traffic has given Illinois drivers a false sense of security. Drivers perceive the open roads to be safe and think increased speed is okay, but this isn’t the case. If it were, we wouldn’t see an increase in fatalities. Before you embark upon your next cross country trip or even just a short commute to work, slow down and remain self-aware. Due diligence and proactive driving can not only keep you safe, but also allow healthcare workers to focus on treating ill patients instead of a preventable car crash.