Why Pedestrian Safety is an Issue in Chicago

121415Thinking about the streets of Chicago, people who live in the area might realize that traffic safety can be a big issue. But they may fail to understand exactly how large of a problem pedestrian collisions are or why they happen.

Chicago is not alone in that regard: across the country, pedestrian accidents are happening every hour of every day and enacting devastating tolls to those involved. From the injuries that stem from an accident to the medical treatment needed to get well, to the wages missed while a victim is unable to work to the emotional suffering caused by a crash, it can be difficult to measure the toll of these incidents. Yet no matter how you measure these damages, it is clear that the economic toll enters the billions of dollars and that entire communities are suffering as a result.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 4,743 pedestrians were killed in American collisions in 2012 and that another 76,000 pedestrians were hurt in traffic accidents. This averages out to a collision causing an injury every seven minutes and a crash claiming a life every two hours. The risks associated with these incidents are disproportionately large because a pedestrian has nothing surrounding them to protect them from an impact if they are hit by a car.

So many people in the Chicago area walk that the number of collisions involving pedestrians is high each year. Statewide, there were 4,429 pedestrian collisions in 2014 and of those, 4,146 resulted in injuries and 122 were fatal. The high prevalence of walkers is one reason that collisions are so prevalent but not the only one. Additionally, aggressive drivers, drivers who ignore traffic rules, and drivers who are unfamiliar with Chicago’s streets all play a role in the cause of pedestrian crashes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the biggest factors in the cause of pedestrian accidents continues to be the presence of alcohol. When drivers or pedestrians have alcohol in their system, a crash between the two is much more likely to occur and the odds of a crash will increase with the amount of alcohol consumed. In fatal collisions during 2012, the CDC reported that 48 percent of those crashes involved alcohol either on the part of a driver or on the part of the pedestrian.

Finally, walking during night or dark hours, crossing at locations other than marked intersections, and failing to yield the right-of-way are all reasons that pedestrians are involved in accidents in Chicago.

If you were hurt in a pedestrian crash in Illinois or if someone you love was injured or killed, make sure you get the legal advice you deserve. Call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and let one of our licensed lawyers provide you with a free, no-cost case consultation. We are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to help you and if we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.

Our legal team has helped countless pedestrians obtain the relief they need to pay for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If we can help you, call us now or contact us online about your accident.

Prior Blog Entry:

New Truck Underride Guards Considered by NHTSA, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 10, 2015.

Resources:

Pedestrian Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published October 7, 2014.

2014 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics, Illinois Department of Transportation.