Traffic safety facts from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) include that in 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and around 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes around the country. More specifically, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in some form of motor vehicle accident. During the same year, there were 115 pedestrian fatalities in Illinois and approximately 3,000 accidents that injured pedestrians in Chicago. Accidents and collisions involving pedestrians are evidently a very serious concern. Chicago Tribune reported that just last month, an 18-year old woman was jogging in north suburban Gurnee when she was hit by a bus and suffered from severe injuries.
The accident took place near Gages Lake Road and Murifield Drive just after 8:30am, according to the report. The woman was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center with chest injuries and various cuts and bruises, but was expected to survive. A Battalion Chief at the scene said, “There was cause for concern initially. I don’t know if there are going to be surgeries needed, but she’s probably headed toward intensive care for a while.” As of that night, no charges were filed against the 31-year old bus driver and there was no suspicion that she was impaired. The area near the accident remained shut down while police investigated further.
The NHTSA states that pedestrian accidents consist of people walking, running, jogging, hiking, or even sitting down being involved in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Our law firm believes it is important to be aware of which circumstances generally produce the most pedestrian accidents and personal injury. Pedestrian fatalities most commonly occur in urban settings during the hours of 8pm and 12am, and surprisingly during normal weather conditions, as compared to rain, snow, and foggy conditions. Additionally, nearly one half of fatalities occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Alcohol involvement, either for the driver or the pedestrian, is reported in almost half of the traffic crashes that result in pedestrian fatalities.
The Department of Transportation Commissioner states that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all need to take responsibility to prevent accidents. “It’s not just distracted drivers that we’re worried about,” the Commissioner said. “People on their cell phones are walking out into intersections getting hit by cars.” Trucks are also a frequent cause of accidents and personal injury in that their large size and weight on small, crowded city roadways makes the truck difficult to maneuver in itself; this fact in addition to other distracted drivers and pedestrians nearby creates a very unsafe and potentially dangerous combination.
All pedestrians are advised be attentive at intersections, where drivers often fail to give them the right-of-way while turning. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in marked or unmarked crosswalks, in most situations. Pedestrians should be sure to cross the street at designated crosswalks whenever possible and always stop and look both ways before crossing the street. If anything is blocking your view, only cross when you are certain it is safe to do so. It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if you must walk in the street it is best to walk facing traffic. Finally, always attempt to increase your visibility at night by wearing reflective clothing to highlight body movements.
Although the above report does not confirm whether the bus driver was deemed responsible for the crash, our Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys represent many individuals and families who have been injured accidents due to negligent motorists. If you have suffered from personal injury or medical expenses as a result of a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a claim in civil court against the driver.