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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

NHTSA Reports Decline in Traffic Fatalities for 2017 and 2018

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Although more than 37,000 people tragically died in car accidents in 2017, the NHTSA recently reported that fatal accidents declined by almost two percent from last year. This decrease follows two years of surprisingly large increases, where fatal accidents saw an 8.4 percent increase in 2015 and a 6.5 percent increase in 2016. The report contains even more good news – data from the first six months of 2018 suggests that this downward trend will continue for this year.

We monitor these statistics because the attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. help those injured in a car accident in Chicago and across the state of Illinois. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 for help.

The Decrease by the Numbers

The decrease reflects 673 fewer fatalities in 2017 than the year prior. The NHTSA’s report provides some additional detail as to how the decrease breaks down:

  • 1.1 percent decrease for passenger car accidents
  • 5.8 percent decrease for van occupants
  • 4.5 percent decrease for pickup truck occupants
  • 3.1 percent decrease for motorcyclists
  • 1.7 percent decrease for pedestrians
  • 8.1 percent decrease for bicyclists
  • 1.1 percent decrease for Alcohol-related fatalities
  • 5.6 percent decrease for speeding-related fatalities

As you can see, accident fatalities involving cyclists saw the largest decrease, with van occupants and speeding-related fatalities showing the second and third largest decreases. Given that speeding is so common, it’s encouraging to see that those fatalities saw the third-largest decrease.

It’s Not All Good News

Unfortunately, some categories of accidents actually saw an increase in fatalities:

  • There was a 3 percent increase in fatalities for accidents involving SUVs.
  • Crashes involving large trucks increased by 9 percent
  • Tractor trailers so a 5.8 percent increase, while single trucks saw a shocking 18.7 percent increase

In light of the increased risk of serious injury and death, the increase in fatalities involving SUVs and large trucks is troubling.

Bad News for Illinois Drivers

Unfortunately for Chicagoans and other Illinois drivers, there was an increase in fatalities of 1.8 percent across the state. Even more worrisome, fatalities caused by driving while under the influence increase by 4.2 percent.

Some Other Interesting Trends

The NHTSA reported some other interesting statistics:

  • Every month saw a decrease in fatalities except January, April, and July, with January reporting a startling 11.2 percent increase.
  • Distracted driving was a cause in 8.5 percent of the total number of accident fatalities.
  • Falling asleep at the wheel was a cause in 2.1 percent of the total number of accident fatalities.

The report is a good reminder that distracted driving, driving while fatigued, and driving while under the influence continue to be a leading cause of fatalities in car accidents.

These Aren’t Just Numbers

It’s important to keep in mind that these statistics represent people who have tragically died on our roads and highways. Many of these accidents, such as those caused by alcohol or distracted driving, are the result of someone’s negligence. The victims and their families pay the price for these accidents and are left to somehow pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. Even when no one died, serious injuries can dramatically change someone’s life for months and even years to come.

Contact a Chicago Area Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you care about has been in a serious car accident, you need someone on your side. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we help victims across the Chicago area and the state of Illinois get the compensation they deserve by providing aggressive, high-quality legal representation from the very moment we take your case. If you’d like a free consultation, contact us today by phone at (312) 236-2900 or contact us online.