Estimates Show Traffic Deaths Down Nationwide in 2013, But Up in Illinois

Auto accidents are one of the most common personal injury accidents, taking the lives of thousands of Americans each year. According to the National Safety Council’s preliminary estimates, approximately 35,200 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2013 – a three percent decrease from 2012. Crash injury estimates also decreased by two percent since 2012 to a total of 3.8 million.

Although 2013 traffic fatalities are three percent lower than 2012, they are actually one percent higher than 2011.

Closer to home, traffic deaths on Illinois roadways increased in 2013 for the second straight year, according to preliminary data from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The Chicago Tribune reports that, as of December 31, 2013, there were 973 crash fatalities in 2013 compared with 956 fatalities in 2012 – a nearly 2 percent increase on top of the 4 percent increase from 2011 to 2012. Despite the year-to-year increase, however, Illinois traffic fatalities in 2013 were still much lower than they have been historically. In fact, 2013 was the fifth straight year that traffic fatalities on Illinois roadways were less than 1,000, a significantly lower number than previous decades.

Safety experts are quick to point out that the vast majority of auto accidents are caused by human error.

“More than 90% of crashes are due to human error,” said John Ulczycki, vice president of Strategic Initiatives at the National Safety Council. “Drivers are taking a lot of risks on our roads today – people are speeding, driving impaired from alcohol and drugs, not wearing seat belts, talking on phones, reading or sending email and texts, and parents are letting teens drive before they are ready. We all need to look at the risks we take and the resulting harm that may be caused to ourselves and others. Many of these 35,200 fatalities last year surely involved people taking risks they thought they could handle. Sadly, they were wrong.”

The Chicago auto accident attorneys at Cogan & Power, P.C. have considerable experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits involving auto accidents, trucking accidentspedestrian accidentsbicycle accidents, and motorcycle accidents. As a result of our comprehensive legal representation, extensive litigation experience, and considerable accident and injury knowledge, we have obtained numerous substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients, including $6.8 million for a 24 year-old man who was killed on an Illinois expressway in a collision with a commercial motor vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact the experienced auto accident law firm of Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to receive a free case evaluation. We will promptly launch an independent investigation of the accident to collect and review any available evidence, so that we can assess all potential legal claims. After we have conducted a comprehensive legal analysis, we will vigorously advocate on your behalf to get you the compensation you need and deserve.