Wheelchair Users More Likely to be Struck by Vehicles than Those Walking Across Streets | Staver
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Wheelchair Users More Likely to be Struck by Vehicles than Those Walking Across Streets

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: Pedestrian Accidents

Crossing Chicago streets and walking across parking lots is dangerous enough for those of us able to walk. It’s far more dangerous for those using wheelchairs, who face a higher chance of being struck by a vehicle. If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident in the Chicago area, Staver Accident Injury Lawyers can help. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 or reach out with our online contact form.

Wheelchair Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago

Chicago has seen two of these accidents recently.

  • A St. Charles man faces felony charges of failing to report an accident and leaving the scene of a crash after a hit-and-run pedestrian accident that killed an 88-year-old woman using a wheelchair and injured her son. Police state the two crossed North Third Street at West Main Street in St. Charles in October when a pickup truck waiting at the light turned right and struck her while she was in the crosswalk, reports the Chicago Tribune. First responders found her alive but unconscious at the scene. The driver left the area but turned himself in to the police later that day
  • Another hit and run accident involving a wheelchair user in October seriously injured a 26-year-old man in Lincoln Park on the North Side. He was crossing Stockton Drive near Fullerton Parkway in a motorized wheelchair when a car hit him, according to ABC 7 Chicago. The car that struck him is described as a red, four-door Toyota Corolla sedan

Dangerous Pedestrian Crossings are More Deadly for Those in Wheelchairs

Wheelchair users are more than a third more likely to be killed in a road accident than the general public, according to a study by Georgetown University researchers released in 2015, reports Bloomberg. In more than three-quarters of these collisions, vehicle drivers made no effort to steer around the person or use the brakes.

Researchers estimated there were two fatalities for every 100,000 pedestrian wheelchair users each year. The general pedestrian population’s death rate was 1.5 per 100,000, so there’s a 36 percent higher fatality risk for wheelchair users.

The most vulnerable wheelchair users were men 50 to 64 years old. They had a 75 percent higher chance of being killed in road accidents than their walking counterparts in the general population. Women in wheelchairs were five times less likely than men to be killed. This may be the result of more risk-taking by men than women.

Why are Wheelchairs Users More Likely to be Victims?

Drivers failed to yield the right of way to wheelchair-using pedestrians in 21 percent of the cases, making it the top cause in these accidents. Half of the crashes were in intersections. In 40 percent of these accidents, there were no pedestrian signals or countdown clocks. Traffic in many of these roads moves too quickly for pedestrians, in wheelchairs or not, to safely cross them.

Many drivers killing wheelchair users don’t see or notice them before the crash. They’re lower to the ground and may move faster than those on foot. Intersections that are hazardous for the healthiest pedestrians are especially deadly for the disabled, whether because their mobility is impaired, they’re blind or deaf.

Contact Our Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

There were 6,293 pedestrian accident fatalities in the US in 2018, or about 17 a day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These accidents are more common in major cities like Chicago, where there are many more people crossing streets. They often contend with distracted, speeding drivers more concerned about reaching their destination than safety.

If you or a family member are injured as pedestrians, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. We can talk about what happened, how the law may apply in your case, and your best options to get compensation for your injuries. Fill out our online contact form or call one of our pedestrian accident attorneys today at 312-236-2900.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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