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Illinois Child Deaths: Comparing the Toll From Cars and Guns

Few people would deny that there is a terrible amount of gun violence in America. Even for passionate advocates of gun rights, the cumulative death toll of shootings is a daunting reality.

Yet there are also way too many motor vehicle accidents. It's true that the overall number has come down, both in the Chicago area and across the country. But that does not change the fact that there are still far too many - claiming the lives or seriously injuring thousands of people every year.

How do the numbers compare, between gun-related deaths and those related to vehicles?

Whet Moser of Chicago Magazine delved into the data for child deaths trying to find out. He looked that it is no longer true to say that a child in Illinois is more likely to be killed by a gun than a car.

Using data from the Illinois Child Death Review Teams, Moser found that the number of kids who died from firearms went up markedly from 2005 to 2010. The number who died in car crashes decreased somewhat over the same period.

As a result, child deaths from firearms have exceeded child deaths in car accidents since 2008.

It must be noted, however, that the car accident figure is still high. In 2010, for example, 75 Illinois children lost their lives in car crashes, compared to 83 in 2002.

The number of child deaths from firearms in 2010 was 84. In 2001, it was 68.

No matter how you analyze the trend lines, this is a lot of kids. Indeed, it's too many.

Source: "More Illinois Children Die From Firearms Than From Car Crashes," Chicagoist, 9-4-12

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Chicago car accidents page.

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