Although, as previously discussed, fatal hit-and-run crashes are increasing across the county, Illinois highway deaths are at 60-year lows according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA reports that over the past several years there has been a “historic downward trend in traffic fatalities.” The number of fatalities has decreased by approximately 26% from 2005-2011 and has continued on this pattern since that time. Illinois traffic fatalities is below the national average. Although highway deaths in Illinois have slightly increased in the most populated counties, that number has been more than offset by a decrease throughout the rest of the state.
The NHTSA does not specifically cite a basis for the decline but reasons may include DUI awareness and enforcement, vehicle design, airbags, seat belt laws and highway design. Illinois DUI-related deaths have declined 10% between 2008-2012.
NHTSA: Highway Deaths in Illinois, USA at Historic Lows, www.mystateline.com, November 19, 2013