Springfield, Illinois – To further drive home the message that the choices we make when traveling have life or death consequences, the Illinois Department of Transportation is displaying crashed vehicles at rest areas with a powerful reminder of the human toll that traffic deaths are having on our state.
“A fatal crash is much more than just a statistic. It means someone’s child, brother or sister, mother or father, friend, neighbor or co-worker won’t be coming home,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Almost all of these crashes are avoidable. Seeing these destroyed vehicles at our rest areas makes a strong statement that each individual can make a difference.”
Appearing next to the wrecked vehicles are signs pointing out fatal crashes in Illinois last year meant 12 children never got the chance to attend their first day of kindergarten, 75 people died while using their mobile device, and 299 lost their lives due to an alcohol-related crash.
The vehicles, donated by local towing companies, will remain on display through Labor Day at select rest areas. Throughout the state, IDOT maintains 30 interstate rest areas and 11 welcome centers, serving 36 million visitors annually.
In 2017, 1,090 people died on Illinois roads, the second consecutive year of more than 1,000 and the most since 2007.
The displays coincide with Life or Death Illinois, a multimedia campaign IDOT launched earlier this year that includes vivid imagery and key statistics to underline the importance of safe driving and appeal to audiences to consider the seriousness of the issues on the state’s roads.
Life or Death Illinois marks the first time IDOT expanded its key safety messages beyond the ongoing problems of impaired driving and unbuckled motorists to include new materials aimed at reducing fatalities and injuries tied to motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, work zones and distracted driving.