Stop Fatalities, Go Dreams, Aspiring Traffic Ahead

Emmanuel Gonzalez, Managing Editor


In Chicago, the majority of vehicle collision fatalities have affected both African-American and Hispanic populations at the highest rate.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has reported that of the 234 motorists and passengers who have died in the years of 2009-2011 from car crashes, 51 percent were African American and 23 percent were Hispanic.

It has also been reported that in 2010, close to 65 percent of Hispanics and 58 percent of African Americans in Chicago were involved in alcohol-related fatalities. While their Caucasian peers were reported to have 38 percent of their population in such accidents.

In light of this information, Dr. Conrad Worril, of NEIU’s Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS), hopes to make a difference in these statistics by leading the “Don’t Crash Dreams” Campaign in partnership with the IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety. This initiative targets young men, ages 18-34 of the African-American and Hispanic population, who are among the highest risk for car accidents caused by distracted driving, not wearing seat belts, and driving under the influence.

The campaign kicked off this past Memorial Day weekend and will run throughout the summer targeting five different Chicago communities. Those communities in name are Douglas, Oakland, Grand Boulevard, Near South Side and Washington Park.

Flyer for the campaign
Flyer for the campaign

Throughout the course of the campaign, which extends to Labor Day, “Don’t Crash Dreams” will be working in these communities and their schools, churches, elected officials, businesses and community-based organizations to promote the prevention of avoidable car accidents involving the former.

The goal of the campaign is for young men of the age group to consider the dreams of their futures before stepping into a motor vehicle, so that they make decisions based on the path their mind will drive them to.

Dr. Worril, who is also Campus Director of CCICS, said, “We were fortunate enough to receive a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation,” and hopes to use the opportunity of the conjoined forces to create a long-lasting impact for communities.

For long now, community outreach has been the goal of CCICS as it continues to research prevailing issues for minorities within the communities of Chicago. “Don’t Crash Dreams” is one of the many projects CCICS has undertaken and will certainly not be the last.