Traffic deaths have been mostly decreasing in recent years. Much of this decrease has been attributed to safer vehicles and safer passenger designs, increasing the odds that accident victims will survive in the event of a crash. Yet at least one group of potential victims has not seen such a decrease; instead, the number of pedestrians killed each year by cars has been steadily increasing since 2009. With an increase in pedestrian fatalities and a decrease in other motor vehicle deaths, pedestrians are now comprising a greater proportion of accident-related deaths than they did just four years ago.
This translates to the death of a pedestrian every two hours as the result of a motor vehicle crash. In addition to those walkers who are killed, a pedestrian is injured every eight minutes in an accident nationally, leading to millions of dollars incurred in medical expenses across the nation.
In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that one in five children age 10-15 who are killed in auto accidents are not even in a car during a crash – they are pedestrians. Though the other four out of five survive, almost all of those children are injured and must receive medical treatment.
In an effort to raise awareness and decrease fatalities, the United States Department of Transportation reportedly is allocating some funds to 22 cities with high incidents of pedestrian fatalities so that new safety techniques can be implemented. The amount to be split by these cities is $2 million, meaning that each city will receive just under $91,000, on average. It is unclear whether this amount of money will lead to significant changes but officials are hopeful that increased funding will lead to decreased crashes. There will also be a new public service announcement scheme that will target certain areas to raise awareness of the dangers faced by pedestrians.
Pedestrians or drivers can be at fault for a collision between the two. In some cases, a pedestrian may dart out into oncoming traffic, eliminating a driver’s ability to stop in time to avoid a crash. Yet in other cases, a driver fails to look for or see a pedestrian and causes a collision. Often, pedestrians who are in a crosswalk and who have the right of way become the victims of accidents because drivers are speeding, distracted, or otherwise driving dangerously. Without any protection surrounding a pedestrian, injuries almost always result.
If you have been the victim of an accident or if your child has been hurt, you should know that Illinois law provides you with legal protections and legal options. If the accident was the fault of another, you may be able to bring a claim for your damages against that at-fault driver. These damages can include your medical bills as well as a claim for any pain and suffering you endured.
Each case has a unique set of facts and therefore each case deserves individual analysis. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers and we will provide you with a free consultation regarding your accident. We have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day at (312) 924-7575 to take your call and there is never an obligation on your part associated with the consultation. If you want to meet with us in person but you are too injured to travel to our offices, we will provide you with a free in-home or in-hospital consultation at your request. Call us today and let us help you understand your rights.
Prior Blog Entries:
Chicago Speed Cameras Go Live Today with Warnings, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 26, 2013.
Chicago Red Line Train Derails on South Side, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 23, 2013.
A Pedestrian Is Killed in a Traffic Crash in the U.S. Every 2 Hours, by Emily Badger, The Atlantic Cities, published August 5, 2013.