Every day, an estimated 89 people die in motor vehicle accidents – one every 16 minutes. In 2011, there were an estimated 5,338,000 police-reported traffic crashes, in which 32,367 people were killed and 2,217,000 people were injured.
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The following are the biggest dangers plaguing America’s roadways today:
1. Drunk Driving.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), more than 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. In 2010 alone, 10,228 people died in alcohol-impaired driving accidents in the United States, which accounted for 31% of all auto accident fatalities. In 2012, the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased slightly to 10,322 fatalities – which amounts to one death every 51 seconds – and a person is injured in a drunk driving crash almost every 90 seconds. In Illinois, drunk driving accidents accounted for 30.4% of all driving fatalities in 2011, with 279 lives lost.
Speeding-related deaths nationwide account for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities each year, taking close to 10,000 lives. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly half of drivers surveyed say speeding is a problem on America’s roadways, with one in five drivers surveyed admitting that they “try to get where [they are] going as fast as [they] can.”
The percentage of young drivers in speeding-related crashes is greater than in any other age group. In fact, more than one in ten drivers (11 percent) age 16 to 20 reported at least one speeding-related crash in the past five years, compared to 4 percent for the population as a whole.
3. Distracted Driving.
Drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to get into an auto accident. Every year thousands of lives are lost as a result of distracted driving accidents. In 2011, there were 3,360 distracted driving fatalities, and in 2012, there were 3,328 distracted driving fatalities. Another 421,000 people were injured in 2012 in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver, which represented a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011 as a result of distracted driving.
Distracted driving consists of any activity that diverts the driver’s attention for the task of driving, but the most common culprit of distracted driving is cell phone use such as texting or talking on the phone. In fact, sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent of driving 55 mph for the entire length of a football field, blind.
The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on representing the victims of all types of motor vehicle accidents, including distracted driving accidents, alcohol-related accidents, and speeding accidents. If you were injured in a traffic accident, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.