Firefighters at a car accident

Illinois 2021 Fatal Traffic Accident Data – The Year So Far

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) tracks and reports on known car accidents throughout the state and as they happen throughout the year. The data that the IDOT collects can shine a light on what type of traffic collisions are happening and possibly why.

Although we are only in May, our team from McHargue & Jones, LLC in Chicago wanted to share Illinois fatal crash data for 2021 so far. The reason is that the number of fatal collisions in 2021 recently exceeded the number this time last year in 2020. COVID-19 lockdowns took many drivers off the road in 2020, but not to such a degree that we should expect to see a concerning uptick in fatal crashes already, so it is worth taking a look at the data.

Overall fatal traffic collision data for Illinois:

  • Fatal crashes in 2021 so far: 291
  • Traffic fatalities in 2021 so far: 328
  • Traffic fatalities in 2020 at this point in the year: 304
  • Fatalities suffered by people without seatbelts: 88
  • Fatalities suffered by unlicensed drivers: 74

This dataset shows that there have been 24 more traffic fatalities in 2021 than in 2020 already, with a predictable trend that this number will only increase as the months go on. Given that about 25% of those fatalities were suffered by people not wearing a seatbelt at all or properly, seatbelt use is a clear issue across the state. The data could suggest that seatbelt use is in decline, but there is no obvious reason yet why drivers and passengers would stop wearing their seatbelts in large numbers.

Illinois 2021 fatalities organized by the type of road:

  • Interstate: 51
  • State-U.S. routes: 106
  • City streets: 104
  • County-township roads: 63

This dataset is a bit surprising, as many people associate interstate traffic and speeds with dangerous traffic conditions and accidents. Yet interstates saw the least number of crashes by far. Busy city streets and state routes, especially those around Chicago and Cook County, are where devastating accidents are happening the most. This could suggest that distracted drivers are far more dangerous in crowded streets and traffic lights that bring vehicles to a stop. It also suggests that drivers who recently entered or exited a state route are more prone to getting into an accident due to the sudden shift in traffic conditions.

Illinois 2021 fatalities organized by the type of accident, excluding passenger cars:

  • Motorcycles: 22
  • Semi-trucks: 43
  • Bicycles: 6
  • Pedestrians: 42
  • Work-zones: 4

This last dataset confirmed that pedestrian accidents and truck accidents remain the two largest traffic concerns, other than crashes involving passenger cars. It is not confirmed but it could be assumed that many of the truck accidents are occurring on state routes, contributing to the large number of fatal accidents there. Also, many of the reported pedestrian fatalities are likely occurring in city streets, where pedestrians must cross the street frequently and hope that nearby drivers are paying attention.

If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a traffic accident in Chicago, then we encourage you to call (312) 739-0000 and connect with McHargue & Jones, LLC. Our team knows how to thoroughly investigate accidents using all evidence and data available to help prove our clients are not liable for the crashes they were in. Find out more by scheduling a free consultation today.

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