AAA Study to Determine Causes and Solutions for Pedestrian Accidents in Illinois and Elsewhere

An 86-year-old was killed in a recent pedestrian accident in Chicago on Sheridan Road. The taxi driver that hit the woman had been cited nearly 10 times by Chicago police for a number of traffic violations including crashing into the back of an unmarked police car, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Eight of the charges have been dropped. Another driver, as reports indicate, had been stopped by local officers nearly 20 times since 2008. One of these stops was the result of a pedestrian-car accident that sent the pedestrian flying. Police report that 16 of the charges and citations have been dropped.These types of accidents that are taking out local pedestrians are not only being caused by cab drivers. Speeding drivers are killing pedestrians left and right. According to a recent study that was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the results of a pedestrian accident are almost directly related to the speed that the vehicle was traveling at the time of impact.

This study aimed to provide solutions for the increasing frequency of pedestrian accidents across the county. The study concluded that in order to improve pedestrian safety, the best bet for officials is to start limiting the speed at which motorists can travel along pedestrian-packed roadways. Officials are urged to keep speeds to levels that are unlikely to harm a pedestrian in the event of an accident.

Our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers note this study also concluded that officials should create a physical separation of vehicles and pedestrians in places where the volume of both is relatively high and the need for fast-moving traffic is paramount.

Researchers also demand that experts create a better vehicle-based system to help vehicles detect pedestrians and a better way to either warn the driver or to brake automatically when a collision is about to happen. Until more can be done to prevent these accidents, motorists are asked to keep a watchful eye out for our walking travelers. All drivers are asked to abide by all speed limits, look for pedestrians when traveling through the city, double check for pedestrians when making turns at intersections and always yield to the right-of-way for these vulnerable travelers.

According to a recent study of pedestrian-vehicle accidents in Chicago, researchers concluded that 1 in 4 downtown accidents involved a taxi driver. These accidents should be no surprise to residents, as taxi drivers oftentimes zip through highly congested areas.

To help reduce these accidents, the city tightened its policy to state that once a driver receives three convictions within a year time period, they’re subjected to license revocation. But at study by the Tribune found such charges are dismissed about two-thirds of the time. Until we can get the court system to stop dismissing these charges, this rule is virtually useless.

According to AAA, there were approximately 4,000 pedestrians killed on U.S. roadways in 2009. There were nearly 60,000 pedestrians injured in these types of accidents. Since it has been concluded that the risks that a pedestrian faces in an accident are directly related to the speed at which the vehicle was traveling at impact, the AAA recommends that all local governments lower and strictly enforce speed limits in areas where pedestrians and motor-vehicle traffic mingle.

Like we said before, there’s no guarantee that our local officials will take this information into consideration and look into reducing traffic speeds in areas congested with pedestrians. To help prevent serious injury, death or legal issues, drivers are asked to remain aware and alert at the wheel and to curb distractions in order to focus complete attention on the task at hand — driving.

If you or someone you love has been injured an Chicago pedestrian accident, contact an attorney at Abels & Annes for free case evaluation. Call 312-924-7575, and remember that there is no attorney’s fee unless a financial recovery is made on your behalf.

More Blog Entries:

Pedestrian killed, 2 others injured in Chicago taxicab accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 6, 2011

Chicago pedestrian accident attorney settles truck accident case, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 20, 2011

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