Researchers and safety advocates are very concerned about predictions being made about the upcoming few months, where the months of Summer 2015 are being dubbed “100 Deadly Days” for U.S. Drivers.
Why? The number of fatal traffic accidents has jumped up 11% in the past 90 days, compared with the corresponding three months of 2014. In the six month period from October 2014 to March 2015, there were 17,820 deaths resulting from car crashes nationally (an 8% increase) — and the highest rise in accident fatalities were in the states of Arkansas, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.
Other research is showing the reason for most of these fatal accidents in each state. Dangerous driving may cause fatal crashes, but the reasons aren’t the same across the country. In Indiana and Illinois, for instance (see chart compiled from NHTSA data below), most fatal accidents are caused by drivers who fail to keep in the proper lane of traffic.
However, cross the state line into Kentucky or Wisconsin, and it’s different. In Kentucky, most fatal car crashes are caused by over-correcting and in Wisconsin, most traffic fatalities are the result of drivers failing to yield the right of way.
So far, so good for the Great Lakes area, right? Well, that’s until the warm summer weather comes into play.
It’s expected that lower gasoline prices and the expected increase in vacations being taken by car are going to combine with other factors (like kids out of school) to increase the number of cars and SUVs and minivans and trucks on the nation’s highways and interstates. The experts are concerned we’re going to have a lot more traffic accidents in the next few months.
“While the statistics point out a dangerous trend, we have the ability to influence outcomes through our choices and behavior, Summer is typically a high-exposure period with lots of miles driven and several long holiday weekends. Take your responsibilities behind the wheel this summer seriously and ensure that you get to your destination safety.”
Driver Safety Tips for Hoosiers This Summer
What can we do to keep safe and protect our loved ones from being injured or killed in a car crash or motor vehicle accident on the roads of Indiana or Illinois, this year especially? Consider the following precautions:
- Check your brakes for wear
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have good tread
- Make sure drivers and passengers are wearing their safety belts
- Don’t get distracted by cell phones or smartphones in either texting, talking, or hands-free phone chat
- Plan road trips with rest breaks
- Stop when you’re tired, don’t drive when you’re drowsy
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Leave early so you’re not under pressure to make up time and tempted to speed
- Beware other drivers and drive cautiously, especially in construction zones or heavy traffic.
If you or a loved one are in a car crash or traffic accident this summer, then you need to be aware of the state laws that are on the books to protect you and yours in the event of serious injury or wrongful death due to the negligence of another.
Both Indiana and Illinois have statutes providing for injury claims for damages including lost wages, medical expenses, long term medical care needs, and more. Wrongful Death Laws have been passed by the state legislatures to protect the loved ones who have suffered the loss of a family member in an accident, too.