There are about 3,000 car-pedestrian accidents in Chicago each year. A new study concludes that roughly 80 percent of all these accidents happen at intersections when pedestrians are using the walk signal to cross. Most of these accidents involve vehicles that are turning. The high rate of these accidents has caught the attention of local authorities — who are targeting these areas with increased enforcement. Officials report that new safe traffic technology is on the way as well to help keep our on-foot travelers safe, according to the Chicago Tribune.
It’s wasn’t only the collisions that caught the eye of officials, but the alarming number of hit-and-run incidents as well. These accidents are being seen across the entire city. More specifically, there were nearly 17,000 accidents that involved nearly 18,000 pedestrians from 2005 to 2009. In 2009 alone, there were nearly 35 pedestrians killed on Chicago roadways, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
Our Chicago injury attorneys note that the highest number of these pedestrian accidents were recorded in an area from the Loop and Near North Side on the east to the Austin neighborhood on the west. A 2-mile section of 79th Street witnessed four of the top 20 accident intersections. City officials will be analyzing this information and looking for new ways to help reduce the number of these serious and preventable accidents.
The study concluded that 78 percent of all accidents occurred within approximately 125 feet of the center of an intersection. This is also where 80 percent of these fatal accidents occur.
In a previous effort to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, the state passed a law in 2010 that required drivers to come to a complete stop for crossing pedestrians. Before the new law, vehicles were only required to yield and stop when needed.
Officials have not had enough time to conclude how effective the 2010 law has been, but IDOT records show that there were 2,943 vehicle-pedestrian accidents in 2010. More than 30 pedestrians died and more than 409 were injured in these incidents.
The Chicago Department of Transportation has concluded that roughly two hit-and-run accidents happen in the city every day. These types of vehicle-pedestrian accidents account for roughly 40 percent of all fatal vehicle-pedestrian collisions. This total is more than double the average for the United States.
“It’s unbelievable, and it’s a real crime,” said Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein. “I think we have this culture of speeding and reckless driving.”
Pedestrians that are age 15- to 18-years-old represent the largest group of accident victims. The report concluded that these individuals are less likely to use crosswalks than adult pedestrians.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Chicago, contact the personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes P.C. to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (312) 924-7575.
More Blog Entries:
Pedestrian killed, 2 others injured in Chicago taxicab accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 6, 2011
Mayor Calls For Stricter Rules after City Employee allegedly caused Chicago Pedestrian Accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, May 31, 2011