Traffic fatalities are on the rise in Illinois. Safety and insurance industry experts believe say Illinois traffic fatalities will pass the one thousand mark this year for the first time since 2008. The combination of higher speeds, more miles driven and an influx of young drivers are seen as aggrivating factors in boosting the roadway mortality rate. At last report, highway fatalities stood at 629 for the year. That's an increase of 50 from last year's total. The National Safety Council blames the move to the 70 mile per hour sped limit on rural interstates for the increase.