Dangerous Pedestrian Intersections | Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
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Most Dangerous Chicago Intersections for Pedestrians

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Being a pedestrian in Chicago this time of year is bracing, but rewarding. After all, you get much-needed exercise, do your part for the environment, and avoid the heavy traffic congestion that tends to clog our streets in winter. Unfortunately, walking along our roadways can be one of the most dangerous things you do all day. Pedestrian accidents in Chicago are all too common. In fact, according to a 2012 study by the Illinois Department of Transportation, just over one-third of Chicago fatal car accidents involved pedestrians, compared with 14 percent across Illinois as a whole.

In total, more than 4,700 pedestrian-related car accidents were reported in the study, 130 of which involved fatalities in Illinois. Most of these pedestrian crashes are happening in and around Chicago. 84 percent of these crashes and 69 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in metro Chicago. Since 78 percent of all pedestrian-related car crashes in Chicago take place within 125 feet of an intersection, it is clear that too many of our intersections here are not safe enough.

The Top Ten Worst Intersections in Chicago for Pedestrians

Last year, the alternate transportation advocacy group Active Transportation Alliance compiled a list of the top ten most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in downtown Chicago. No surprise to any pedestrians in the area, the six-way intersection of Milwaukee, North and Damen Avenues on the North Side was named the worst offender, with 43 crashes involving either a pedestrian or a bicycle from 2006 to 2012. While this was the highest number of accidents by far, all of the following ten intersections require extra caution.

  • N. Milwaukee Ave/W. North Ave/N. Damen Ave
  • N. Cicero Ave and W. Chicago Ave
  • N. Halsted St/N. Lincoln Ave/W. Fullerton Ave
  • S. Cottage Grove Ave and E. 79th St
  • N. Dearborn St and W. Ontario St
  • S. Ashland Ave and W. 63rd St
  • N. Cicero Ave and W. Madison St
  • N. Ashland Ave and W. Cortland St
  • S. Martin Luther King Dr and E. 63rd St
  • N. Elston Ave/N. Western Ave/W. Diversey Ave

The Chicago Department of Transportation has a goal to reduce serious pedestrian injuries by 50 percent every five years. It hopes to completely eliminate pedestrian fatalities by 2024. Spokesman Peter Scales explained that the organization will use education, engineering, and enforcement to promote pedestrian safety in Chicagoland.

Unfortunately, dangerous intersections for Chicago car accidents aren’t limited to downtown. The following 10 suburban crossings were listed as the worst offenders in the metro Chicago area outside of downtown.

  • N. McCormick Blvd and W. Touhy Ave (Skokie)
  • S. Cicero Ave and W. Cermak Rd (Cicero)
  • U.S. Route 12 (Mannheim Road/La Grange Road) and W. Cermak Rd (Westchester)
  • Shermer Rd and W. Dempster St (Morton Grove)
  • N. La Grange Rd and W. Ogden Ave (La Grange)
  • Harms Rd and Glenview Road (Glenview)
  • 1st Ave and Madison St (Maywood)
  • N. Harlem Ave and Madison St (Forest Park/Oak Park)
  • Harlem Ave and 79th St (Burbank)
  • E. 147th St and Halsted St (Harvey)

Because the risk to Chicago pedestrians is so great at any of these intersections and even many others, the Active Transportation Alliance has been pushing for increased awareness about intersection safety and more funding for roadway improvements throughout the Chicago area in a safety campaign called Safe Crossings since last October. As Chicago residents ourselves, we hope that they will be supported by the local government and successful in their efforts. No pedestrians should find themselves at risk when following traffic laws.

How to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

Fortunately, there are ways for both drivers and pedestrians to prevent pedestrian accidents and the serious injuries and fatalities that come with them from occurring. Let’s take a closer look at some tips for drivers and pedestrians.

Tips for Drivers

  • Refrain from distracted driving: Drivers should always keep their eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel. Distractions such as talking on the phone, texting, eating, and fumbling with GPS controls should be avoided at all times.
  • Check mirrors often: It’s a good idea for drivers to get into the habit of looking to their left and right and driving slowly when backing out of parking lot spaces and driveways.
  • Do not speed: Speeding is one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents. Therefore, drivers should adhere to the speed limit and leave early to resist the temptation to speed. They should also drive particularly slow when they are proceeding through an intersection or crosswalk.
  • Use turn signals: Drivers should activate their turn signals when they are switching lanes or making turns.

Tips for Pedestrians

  • Be alert: Pedestrians should be alert whenever they are crossing the street. This way, they’ll know if there is a driver who is speeding and may not have enough time to slow down before reaching a stop sign or red light.
  • Be seen at night: While walking at night, pedestrians should wear bright clothing so they are visible to drivers.
  • Look both ways: It may seem obvious but looking both ways before crossing street at intersections is a must.
  • Use sidewalks: Whenever possible, pedestrians should use sidewalks. In the event they have to walk in the street, they should walk facing oncoming traffic.

Despite these barriers to safe walking, hundreds of people walk to work, school, or to run errands in Chicago every day. When their lives are put at risk due to the negligence of drivers or unsafe road conditions, something must be done. If you have been injured in a pedestrian-related car crash in Chicago due to another person’s negligence, you may deserve compensation. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. Contact our lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today by calling (312) 236-2900. Find out how we can help.

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