New Report Outlines Risks of Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere

A new 2011 pedestrian safety report was recently released with updated figures. The statistics aren’t pretty. The Transportation for America report stated that there were nearly 47,000 pedestrians killed, and another 668,000 pedestrians injured on our nation’s streets from 2000 to 2009. A new plan, Dangerous by Design 2011, looks at way to solve this deadly epidemic of pedestrian accidents in Chicago and elsewhere in the United States.This newly released data includes a detailed report and a fact sheet with references to all 50 states. The website provides a detailed and interactive pedestrian map illustrating accidents on your city’s streets and allows you to see just how unsafe your area may be.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers understand just how dangerous it can be to travel our local roads by foot or bicycle. We’ve repeatedly asked that motorists practice caution and common sense behind the wheel. While maps, statistics and safer street construction may help to compliment safer pedestrian travel, it is ultimately up to us as travelers to be cautious and considerate of others on our roadways.

According to this new interactive map, a majority of these pedestrian fatalities happen along “arterial” roadways that are dangerous by city design, nationally speaking. These streets have been engineered solely for speedy traffic with virtually no provision for pedestrians, those in wheelchairs or travelers on bicycles.

Ironically, a lump of our federal tax dollars are meant to be distributed to promote pedestrian safety on our streets. Yet, Congress is currently considering eliminating all funding for these types of projects. Not that they would be eliminating much. Currently. less than 2 percent of federal funds for these types of projects are being used to preserve the safety of pedestrians.

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. roadways are aided by federal funds, and highway-only lobby continue to insist that increasing safety measures on these roads is a local government responsibility. Federal programs just continue to encourage state departments of transportation to keep their focus on speedy traffic roads instead on pedestrians.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 4,000 pedestrian fatalities from traffic accident involvement in 2009 in the United States. Another 59,000 pedestrians suffered injuries from these accidents. This equals an average of a pedestrian killed every nine minutes and one being killed every two hours.

Illinois saw nearly 2,000 pedestiian fatalities between 2000 and 2009. These fatalities cost the state more than $7 million. The rate of pedestrian fatalities in the state ranks 27th our of all 50 states, according to the Dangerous by Design 2011 fact sheet.

The Chicago, Naperville and Joliet areas saw nearly 1,500 pedestrian deaths in this time period and the Champaign-Urbana areas saw nearly 30. These two areas made up more than 20 percent of all of the pedestrian fatalities in the state.

If you or a love one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the Illinois personal injury lawyers of Abels & Annes, P.C. Call 866-99-ABELS for a free consultation. There is no fee unless you win.

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