Past Results Show Summer Driving is Dangerous

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The summer season has arrived!  This is a fun and carefree time for many throughout the nation with ball games, pool parties, family reunions and vacations on the calendar over the next several months.  One common factor for all of these activities is transportation - to and from - by vehicles on the roadways.  This is where the concern of traffic safety begins for the Illinois State Police.

    In 2010-2011, August was the deadliest month and accounted for 23% of District 7’s (Henry, Knox, Mercer and Rock Island Counties) fatal crashes.  “When almost one quarter of our fatal crashes occurs in one month, it is time to start asking why.” states Captain Jeffrey Patterson, District 7 Commander.  Looking closer at the summer months of June, July, and August over the last two years the disturbing trend continues with 35% of fatal crashes occurring during these months.

A review of data explains, why.  Over the last two years summer time fatal crashes in District 7 involved 70% unrestrained occupants, 21% involved alcohol, and 57% involved excessive speed.

    “The message is simple, but one that saves lives.  Drivers must slow down, not drink and drive, avoid distractions and above all everyone needs to buckle up,” states Cpt. Patterson.  The easiest life-saving action anyone can do takes less than one second before the vehicle starts down the road. “Buckling up is the only thing both motorists and passengers will be able to control 100% of the time in the unfortunate circumstance of a crash.”