The most recent data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that almost 5,400 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle-related accidents in 2015. Additionally, another 70,000 were injured. These pedestrian accidents, on average, kill a person every 1.6 hours and injure one every 7.5 minutes.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a pedestrian accident, contact a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We can investigate your case and help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free consultation.
Top Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
Research performed by the NHTSA and other sources shows some of the most prevalent reasons that pedestrian accidents occur. These include:
- Pedestrians are not using sidewalks – There are some pedestrians who choose to walk on the roadway, even if a sidewalk is available. But, there are those who are unable to use sidewalks for various reasons. For example, if a bicyclist is ignoring the law and riding on the sidewalk or construction on buildings has temporarily closed walkways. In these cases, pedestrians are forced to walk on the roads, which increases their chances of being clipped by an automobile. If you walk on the shoulder, you should be vigilant about your surroundings and avoid looking at your phone or other distractions in order to remain alert to others around you.
- Pedestrians wear dark, non-reflective clothing – Visibility is compromised at night when nearly three-quarters of these pedestrian accidents occur. Pedestrians who wear dark colors put themselves at a higher risk of being hit, simply because drivers may not be able to see them until it’s too late. If you’re walking at night, be sure to wear light or reflective clothing. It’s also a good idea to carry a flashlight, if possible.
- Drivers turning left fail to see pedestrians – Research has shown that drivers turning left are more likely to hit someone crossing the street than drivers who are turning right. The issue with left turns is that both parties aren’t paying attention to each other – a person crossing the street is looking straight ahead, while the driver turning left is watching oncoming traffic for a break to allow them to turn.
- Roads lack proper crosswalks – Defined crosswalks that include brightly colored signs and blinking lights help reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians. But, not every road or intersection contains a crosswalk. If you need to cross a road without a crosswalk, try to find an area that is well lit and wait for a substantial gap in traffic that will allow you to cross safely.
- People are too busy texting – We are all pretty familiar with distracted driving, but distracted walking can also pose dangerous problems. If you’re walking but your attention is focused on your phone, you tend to block out other actions. Not paying attention to the roadway may cause you to walk out into traffic or not notice a car heading right for you. Make sure to stay safe by putting away your phone until you’ve reached your destination.
- Arterial roads make walking unsafe – Arterial roadways allow cars to travel to and from freeways at a fast pace. These roads have higher speed limits and generally lack safety features, such as sidewalks and crosswalks. All of these factors can spell potential disaster for pedestrians. If you must walk on an arterial road, make sure to face traffic and walk on the shoulder or stay as far to the side as possible.
- Alcohol is involved – Just as alcohol impairs reaction times for drivers, it also affects walkers. Pedestrians under the influence may be more likely to cross against a light or in an area without a crosswalk, misjudging the distance of oncoming traffic. If you’ve been drinking, don’t assume that walking home will be safer. Instead, consider calling a cab, rideshare service, or a sober friend.
Hurt in an Accident? Call a Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered in a pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to contact our Chicago pedestrian lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for help. We will work to get you the compensation you deserve, so you won’t have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills. Our pedestrian accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. To schedule a no-cost consultation, contact us today at (312) 236-2900.