After four straight years of decline, fatal pedestrian accidents were on the rise again in the first six months of 2010, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Our Chicago injury attorneys know pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in Chicago and the surrounding area. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports 30 people were killed in Chicago pedestrian accidents in 2009 and another 3,069 were injured. Statewide, pedestrian accidents killed 141 people and injured more than 15,000.
Illinois recorded the 12th-highest number of fatal pedestrian accidents. However, it was among the states to report a reduction in the number of pedestrian accidents in the first half of 2010. A total of 46 fatal Illinois pedestrian accidents were reported, compared to 50 during the first six month of 2009.
The most were recorded in California and Florida — in fact California, Florida, Texas and New York accounted for nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents nationwide. Wyoming and South Dakota recorded the fewest pedestrian accidents.
Nationwide, 1,891 died in pedestrian accidents during the first six month of 2010, compared to 1,884 during the same period of 2009, according to the GHSA report. Twenty-eight state reported a decrease, while 18 reported an increase.
Those ages 45 to 64 were most likely to be killed in a pedestrian accident, followed by those ages 30 to 45, and those over the age of 65.
“Nationally, pedestrian fatalities account for about 12 percent of overall traffic deaths, a small but significant portion,” said GHSA Chairman Vernon Betkey Jr. “Given that we have made so much progress in this area, GHSA is concerned to see this reversal.”
The organization said an increase in distracted driving may be partly to blame.
“Anyone who travels in a busy city has seen countless pedestrians engrossed in conversation or listening to music while crossing a busy street,” Betkey said. “Just as drivers need to focus on driving safely, pedestrians need to focus on walking safely – without distractions.”
A renewed focus on pedestrian safety is warranted and should include prioritization, data analysis, engineering, laws and enforcement and education, according to the GHSA report.
If you or a family member is injured or killed in a Chicago pedestrian accident, contact Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.