Pedestrian Safety in Illinois
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2016. This means 1 crash-related pedestrian death every 1.5 hours, on average. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported that in the same year, 5,545 people were injured and 136 were killed just in Illinois alone. These accidents can most obviously be caused by pedestrians crossing the street or highway, but they can also happen due to poor vehicle maintenance, sidewalk defects, construction, or other negligible acts. This blog post will go into further detail about who is at risk, common causes, how to prevent a pedestrian-vehicle accident and what to do if you end up involved in a pedestrian accident.
Who Is at Risk?
Just by living in an urban city like Chicago, you are at a greater risk of being involved in a pedestrian-vehicle accident. According to the National Safety Council, 85.7% of non-fatal pedestrian accidents happen in urban cities. The Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics Report stated that in 2018, 4,029 pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries 634 in rural areas. happened in urban areas compared to However, there are some factors that could make you more at risk.
- Children- Younger children ages 5-9 are at the greatest risk of being involved in pedestrian-vehicle accidents. Whether it be in a crosswalk or just walking along the sidewalk, children tend to be less aware of their surroundings and more susceptible to wandering into the roadway.
- Older adults- The same can be said for the elderly. Data from AARP indicates that individuals over age 65 have a greater chance of being struck and killed. Out of all related fatalities, 20 percent involve senior citizens.
- Walking under the influence- Tons of companies advocate against drinking and driving, but not as many people are aware of the dangers that come along with drinking and walking. While intoxicated, crossing the road or walking in a parking lot can become much more dangerous tasks.
How to Prevent A Pedestrian Accident
Before we discuss how to prevent a pedestrian accident, it’s equally important to understand what can cause the accident in the first place. Below are some common causes of pedestrian-vehicle accidents:
- Electronics- This can be the cause of pedestrian-vehicle accidents on both sides of the accident. Drivers engaging in texting, making calls, or messing with the radio while driving can easily miss a pedestrian crossing the street in front of them. Additionally, pedestrians walking and using their phone, iPod, or other portable device, can easily walk into oncoming traffic on accident.
- Poor visibility- Driving or walking at night or in hazardous conditions is a huge cause of accidents. When walking at night, pedestrians are always encouraged to wear some sort of reflective clothing or gear. Aside from time of day, weather can play a huge role in visibility. Particularly during wintertime, a driver may not be able to slow down by the time he or she notices a pedestrian.
- Improper turns- Failing to look before making a left or right-hand turn can lead to devastating results. In particular, improper left-hand turns are 3 times more likely to cause an accident than right-hand turns. Always look before you turn, even if the light is green.
- Failing to obey traffic signals- Traffic lights along with other signals such as stop signs and yield signs are in place for a reason. Failing to obey these signs as a pedestrian or as a driver could lead to potentially dangerous situations.
- Not checking the rear-view mirror- Checking your rear-view mirror or back up camera, if you have one, is vital to reducing accidents. Additionally, it’s important to remember that you can’t see everything through your back up camera. Small children or animals that you can’t see in the camera alone may be behind your vehicle.
In order to prevent accidents, always keep both eyes on the road whether you are walking or driving. Wait to send that text until you are either pulled over or safely stopped along the way to your destination. If you are walking at night, invest in some reflective gear and always carry a flashlight. Always cross the street at designated crosswalks only when it is your turn to cross. If you can’t find a sidewalk, walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic. As a safe driver, always obey traffic signals, use your blinker and double check cross walks before making turns in an intersection. Lastly, always check behind your vehicle before backing up.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hit
Even if you do follow all of the advice in this article, it is still very possible to find yourself in an accident involving both a pedestrian and a moving vehicle. Proving fault in a pedestrian accident may sound simple, but it is often a complex matter that requires the diligent work of an experienced law firm. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to get help as soon as you possibly can. Contact Whiteside & Goldberg if you or a loved one are a victim of a pedestrian-vehicle accident in the Chicago area.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. works hard to get you the settlement you deserve. They offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything until you win a settlement. The experienced attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. fight to secure your financial future. For more information on car accident lawsuits, call 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office. You should never battle a pedestrian accident case without an excellent attorney by your side.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.