January 27, 2017

Traffic Dangers and Safety in Naperville

Route 59 and North Aurora Road- the intersection responsible for 102 traffic accidents over the last year. That number combined with 126 others between 75th Street and Naper Boulevard and Aurora and Ogden Avenues has police urging drivers to stay safe.

While the number of crashes is actually down in 2016, compared to the year before, the accidents have proven to be more fatal.

“Some of the serious crashes that we dealt with this past year dealt with impaired driving. Impaired driving is still one of our major causes for fatality crashes. We also saw some inexperienced driving last year and speed was a factor in a lot of our crashes also,” said Sergeant Derek Zook with the Naperville Police Department.

It’s a problem not only noted by the police, but insurance companies as well.

Howard Weiss, Vice President at Esser Hayes Insurance Group, sees two culprits for more accidents: distracted drivers and elderly drivers with slower reaction times.

“We know that distracted driving is the number one cause of death for ages of 15 to 20 which is very serious. As the population ages, we start to see some issues pop up there, we start to see it more after the age of 70 now. The ‘55’ age group has improved but once we get to age 70 we start to see some deterioration,” said Weiss.

And those issues combined with more people on the road can spell danger for everyone.

“A study was just recently released from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that says that due to good employment, gas prices are down, which causes more people to be on the roadway and drive, which is increasing the traffic flow which increases traffic accidents overall,” added Sgt. Zook.

The majority of crashes in Naperville are rear-end accidents caused by following too closely.

Experts say the best way to avoid of this and any trouble is to stay focused.

“Talking on the phone, dialing the phone, texting is the big culprit. We know if you’re texting on the phone you’re 23 more times likely to have an accident than if you’re not,” added Weiss.

And on a positive note, as part of the most recent “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over “ campaign, the Naperville Police Department arrested zero drivers with a blood alcohol reading over the legal limit.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.

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