(CBS) — More people have already died on Illinois roads this year compared to the last couple of years.

WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports as of noon, 973 people have died on Illinois roads in 2013, 19 more people than 2012 with more than a full day left in the year.

Shannon Alderman, coordinator of IDOT’s alcohol program says the biggest reason is believed to be because more people are driving more miles during the year.

“Recall just a few years ago with the economy and the gas prices first starting to increase so much, we did see an actual decrease in the vehicle miles traveled back then and what you saw across the country actually was a drop in those fatalities,” said Alderman.

In 2010, there were 927 traffic deaths in Illinois. That dropped slightly to 918 in 2011 and then last year, numbers started going up again. 957 people killed on Illinois streets and highways last year.

To try to curb traffic deaths, Alderman says people need to increase their seat belt usage and not drive after drinking alcohol.