Nightime Motor Vehicle Fatalities in Illinois

Data released by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety shows that more people are killed in motor vehicle accidents that occur between midnight and 3 a.m. than any other time of the day. Illinois law enforcement officials blame drinking drivers and drivers who don’t buckle up their safety belts. Data for the years 2005-2008 shows that 73 percent of drivers who died in late-night motor vehicle accidents were not using their seat belts.

Illinois law enforcement is mounting a campaign to crackdown on alcohol impaired drivers, and drivers who are not using their seat belts. These efforts will be ongoing through Labor Day. Illinois State Police will be joined by over 300 local law enforcement agencies in conducting 200 roadside safety checks. Law enforcement agencies will be conducting alcohol impaired driving saturation patrols and night safety belt patrols. Illinois motorists should be aware that impaired driving or not wearing their seat belts could lead to an arrest or a traffic ticket.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA ) estimates that 13,250 lives were saved in 2008 because people in passenger vehicles were using their seat belts. Across the nation, over 75,000 lives were saved during the 5-year period from 2004 to 2008. According to NHTSA estimates, 391 lives were saved in Illinois in 2008 by proper seat belt usage.