As of recently, the Chicago Department of Transportation released a comprehensive plan to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians, according to Wbez.org. Our attorneys learned that several official meetings throughout the last year have produced a large document detailing the city’s plans to improve the safety of motorists and pedestrians in the area. These plans include making improvements such as creating neighborhood traffic circles and increasing the number of safety zones near schools and parks. Some low-cost projects including the addition of crosswalk stripes and posting signs are already in progress at intersections with the highest accident rates. All plans will predominantly rely on federal funds in order to make the proper improvements necessary.
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.
The National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that approximately 3,000 traffic accidents injure pedestrians in Chicago each year. Shockingly, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic accidents in the United States in 2010, an increase of four percent from 2009. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents.
Our law firm wants to urge all motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to take the appropriate steps to remain safe on Illinois roadways. We believe that 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. Nearly one half of fatalities occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Alcohol involvement, either for the driver or the pedestrian, was reported in almost half of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.
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, always being sure to 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, walk facing traffic. Finally, always attempt to increase your visibility at night by wearing reflective clothing to highlight body movements.
Our truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti have represented numerous individuals and families who have been injured in a pedestrian accident due to a negligent motorist. For example, we settled a case for $1.25 million for a woman who was seriously injured when she was hit by a bus at a Chicago crosswalk. We apply this experience and our knowledge of the law to deliver the best results and fair compensation for every client we represent. If you have suffered personal injury or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, please contact us to learn about what legal options may be available to you