Monday, May 5, 2014

Traffic Deaths in Illinois 2014

221 traffic deaths in Illinois as of May 2, 2014.

I see these numbers increase almost daily. It is very disturbing to me. It represents 221 caskets in 4 short months. It represents 221 families feeling a tremendous loss. 221 lives cut short.

If we "only" had 50 traffic deaths in Illinois each month, that would be 600 deaths by year end. SIX HUNDRED!!! 600 parents without children, 600 children without parents.

Sadly, each year in Illinois we lose approx. 1,000 people due to traffic accidents. People like 26-yr old Laura LaPlante who was one month away from graduating with her law degree from the University of Chicago and then returning to her native Boston. LaPlante had a job at a Boston law firm lined up already. But for a drunk driver going the wrong way. I saw an interview with a family spokesperson. Laura had her act together. She was a planner. Her life was planned out and on target. But for a drunk driver.

In 2013 there were 992 traffic deaths. Up from 956 in 2012. The lowest number of traffic deaths since 1921 occurred in 2009, with 911. With 992 deaths in 2013, that averages to 2.7 people dying each and every day.

Do you know what the number one cause of traffic deaths is? Speed. I'm as guilty of this as the next person. We ALL need to slow it down. Slow and steady gets there. Alive.

Number two? Alcohol. Come on, people, how many times do we have to be told not to drink and drive?????

I don't have proof but distracted driving has to be up there as well. That's texting or Facebooking while driving. Taking pics. Dealing with children, dogs, or other occupants in a vehicle. Eating. Driving is serious business. Pay attention the whole time!!!!!!!!! It's not just about you. It's about the Laura LaPlantes out there that have their entire lives ahead of them. It's about you and me and the people we love and love us.

If I could singlehandedly keep traffic deaths in Illinois to a max 600, I would. I don't want 600 families torn apart. Let's all do our part.

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