Fatal Pedestrian Accident in Chicago Highlights Risk

A young woman was struck and killed as she walked across the street in Palatine the other day during evening rush hour.

The fatal Chicago pedestrian accident happened as the woman was making her way to the train station, heading for Chicago.

The woman, Yesenia Enriquez, 24, was killed on Peder Drive, just south of Northwest Highway, when a woman in a 2001 Toyota Camry struck her. Police said Enriquez worked nearby, and was on her way home when the crash occurred, according to news reports.

This tragic case underscores the need for vigilance among Chicago motorists to watch out for the people who share our roadways.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have seen far too many cases of pedestrian who have died in wrecks that simply didn’t need to happen. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 32 pedestrians killed and more than 3,000 hurt in the city in 2010.

Between 2005 and 2009, nearly 18,000 pedestrian accidents happened in Chicago, most of them when pedestrians are in the crosswalk with a walk signal. Alarmingly, officials say there are an average of two serious hit-and-run pedestrian accidents every day. Some result in injuries, others in death.

Many Chicago residents have complained that part of the problem lies with the city and its failure to make walking simple and safe. For example, it’s been alleged in certain areas that stop signs are hung too low, failing to meet the standards of federal traffic engineers. Others have said that no parking signs are sometimes placed too close to intersections, causing parked cars to block a driver’s view of crosswalks and stop signs. Further, pavement markings are often worn or undetectable.

The fact that these cases are often more complicated than they appear on the surface is all the more reason for you to have an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner – someone who knows how to research all relevant factors.

The Illinois Department of Transportation indicates pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in the state, just as they are elsewhere in the country. In the U.S. in 2008, more than 4,500 pedestrians were killed and some 60,000 were injured.

This breaks down to about one pedestrian injured every 8 minutes, and one killed every two hours. Of those killed, 18 percent were over the age of 65 and 7 percent were children younger than 15.

In 48 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes, alcohol is a factor. Almost half of all pedestrian crashes happen on a Friday, and a large percentage of the fatal crashes involving child pedestrians happened between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., as school was letting out.

Another recent tragedy involving a young child has sparked calls for action on the issue of pedestrian safety. In 2006, a 4-year-old was crossing the street across from the Lincoln Park Zoo with her mother and 6-year-old brother when she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Following the crash, the intersection was repainted and reconstructed, and city officials have vowed to work toward having zero pedestrian deaths by 2020. A sagging economy has impeded those efforts, though officials with the Chicago Department of Transportation have promised to invest more than $2 million on pedestrian-friendly road improvements this year.

If you or your child has been injured in a bicycle or a pedestrian accident in Chicago, the injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free consultations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Bike-Pedestrian Safety, CyberDriveIllinois

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Grant Money Available to Help Reduce Risks of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents in Illinois

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