Chicago pedestrian accidents at railway crossing and Illinois train accidents both increased last year, the Chicago Tribune reported.The Illinois Department of Transportation also reports the number of fatal Illinois traffic accidents increased, although there were fewer Chicago car accidents. There were 128 fatal accidents in Chicago last year, compared to 141 in 2009. Statewide figures have not yet been released, but 916 motorists were killed through Dec. 29 last year, compared to 911 who lost their lives in 2009.
The Illinois Commerce Commission reports 17 fatalities occurred at railroad crossings from January to November last year and 10 pedestrians were killed after being hit by trains. Those numbers reverse a recent decline in accidents involving trains in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois.
Fifteen motorists were killed by trains in 2008, compared to 16 in 2007 and 18 in 2006. The 10 pedestrian fatalities is the most since 12 were killed in 2007.
Injury accidents involving trains also increased last year. Seventy-six were reported in the first nine months of the year, compared to 80 in all of 2009. More than 125 were reported in both 2007 and 2008.
In response, officials launched a public service announcement this week entitled “Where’s the Best Man,” which depicts a member of a wedding party who is killed trying to beat a train across the tracks.
Our Chicago injury lawyers reported earlier this year that Illinois is under federal mandate to improve railroad crossing safety. Between 2006 and 2008 a total of 98 people were killed in Chicago railroad crossing accidents — 588 were killed across Illinois.
The state is one of 10 states that must submit a plan by August to address railroad crossing safety.
If you or a loved one is injured in an 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.