The number of alcohol-related driving deaths in Illinois spiked during the first months of the pandemic. New data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows 311 people died in alcohol-related crashes on Illinois roadways in 2020, an increase of 22% from the year prior.
The report shows that nearly 1,200 total fatalities were recorded on Illinois roads in 2020, 18% more than in 2019.
Despite a 7% rise in road fatalities nationwide, there were 17% fewer people injured and a 22% drop in non-fatal crashes. In 2020, there were 1,638 drivers involved in fatal crashes who were simultaneously unrestrained, alcohol-impaired, and speeding. That’s a 21% increase in just one year.
Meanwhile, a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration shows pedestrian fatalities in Illinois rose by 7% in the first six months of 2020, from 70 in 2019 to 75. Nationwide, there’s been a 46% jump in pedestrian fatalities since 2010. Alcohol impairment – for the driver and/or pedestrian – was reported in about half of crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities in 2019. The report also indicates the increases in pedestrian fatalities are occurring largely at night.