Why Are Illinois Vehicle Fatality Rates Up During the Pandemic?

Illinios accident lawyer,  Illnois personal injury attorney, Illinois wrongful death lawyerCoronavirus has changed our daily lives over the past several months. The global pandemic led to stay-at-home orders across the country, including Illinois. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), speeding and reckless driving during the crisis have led to a higher number of car accidents and fatalities on U.S. roadways recently. Reports show that even though many Americans are driving less because of stay-at-home orders, the fatality rate per mile driven increased by 14 percent compared with March 2019. Motorists may be speeding since there are not as many cars on the road now. During the first few months of 2020, Illinois alone saw an increase of 11 percent in vehicle-related deaths.

Reasons for Reckless Driving Behaviors Amidst COVID-19

Chicago is typically known for bumper-to-bumper traffic, but with so many employees working from home now, the highways are much less congested, giving drivers a false sense of security and freedom. Some motorists figure police are busy dealing with COVID-related calls or enforcing public gathering limits that they are not as focused on speeders. In other cases, people may think that law enforcement is limiting direct contact with drivers so they are not pulling over motorists or issuing as many tickets for speeding or other traffic violations. However, speed limits are put in place for a reason, namely to prevent crashes. Traveling 20, or 30 mph over the posted speed limit can cause a driver to lose control and collide with other cars, trucks, pedestrians, or even crash into cement medians or buildings. The force of the impact when going that fast can lead to severe to life-threatening injuries, such as broken bones, internal bleeding, or burns to the skin if a vehicle explodes.

Distracted driving may also be more prevalent since there is less traffic. Drivers might be practicing less caution since there are fewer cars on the road. Falsely thinking that they have more time to react, motorists may be texting or using their cell phones while operating their vehicles, which is dangerous at any speed. A blatant disregard for obeying traffic laws such as failure to stop at stop signs or going through red lights can lead to T-bone or rear-end collisions.

In addition, COVID-19 has affected citizens in many ways, including their emotional and mental health. For those who are out of work, turning to alcohol or drug use could be a way of coping with the uncertainty of these unprecedented times. After feeling cooped up from being under a stay-at-home order, they may hit the road after drinking or taking drugs. Statistics have shown that intoxicated or impaired driving is known to reduce a driver’s reaction time and judgment. Therefore, they cannot stop in time, which can directly cause an accident, often with serious to fatal injuries.

Contact an Orland Park, IL Personal Injury Attorney

Despite the fact that more people have been staying home over the past few months, auto crashes have been on the rise in Illinois. This may be due to an increase in reckless driving behaviors by negligent motorists. After being involved in a vehicle collision, you may be suffering from serious injuries that lead to not only expensive medical bills but lost income as well. It is in your best interest to consult with a qualified Illinois car accident lawyer who can fight for your rights to the compensation you need and deserve. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, has more than 30 years of experience in handling personal injury and criminal matters, successfully defending clients in both federal and state courts. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 708-966-2408.

 

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2020/05/20/us-roadways-more-lethal-during-pandemic-lockdown-national-safety-council-data-shows/

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2020/04/20/speeders-take-over-empty-roads-with-fatal-consequences

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