In 2020, Illinois recorded the highest volume of traffic deaths since 2007. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, car crashes in Prairie State resulted in greater than 1,100 fatalities.
The 2020 death toll represents about 16% more vehicle fatalities than those recorded in 2019. The numbers include pedestrians, motorists and passengers. Bicyclists and motorcycle riders also died in the Illinois accidents.
Some reasons for the increase of fatal accidents
The Illinois Department of Transportation attributes reckless driving and speeding to the accident increase. Reduced traffic during 2020 may have led to motorists engaging in riskier driving behavior.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that driving while impaired may have contributed to the surge in crashes. As reported by Bankrate.com, distractions such as using a cell phone cause approximately 3,000 deaths each year.
Two companies found liable for young man’s traffic death
Surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for fatalities. As reported by CDLLife.com, a jury awarded a family more than $1 billion in damages over the untimely loss of their college-aged son. Punitive damages accounted for about 90% of the jury award.
The collision occurred after the student stopped for an accident involving a truck. An unlicensed truck driver reportedly drove while distracted by his mobile phone before crashing. While stopped in traffic, a second distracted truck operator drove into the traffic line and struck the student. The second driver reportedly applied the brakes only one second before the collision. The federal jury held both trucking companies liable for the accident.
Motorists and commercial drivers must maintain control of their vehicles at all times. They may otherwise face wrongful death lawsuits if they cause a fatal accident. When they fail to employ safe drivers, transportation companies may face additional legal consequences such as severe punitive damages.