13 percent of all traffic fatalities in Illinois are pedestrians
Chicago, and many other parts of Illinois, has seen an increase in pedestrian foot traffic along the city’s roadways. Sadly, the state has also seen an increase in the number of people killed and injured in pedestrian accidents. Approximately 1,488 Illinois pedestrians were killed in 2012, representing 13 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the state. An established car accident lawyer Chicago location can help injured victims or their families file for damages.
The family of a 22-year-old woman may pursue legal action against a 74-year-old man who hit and killed the young woman last month. According to the Naperville Patch, the woman was walking with her dog across an intersection, when both were struck and killed. Although the man was issued citations for not exercising due care and disobeying a traffic control signal, it is unclear as to whether he will face any criminal charges.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows a 6.4 percent increase in the pedestrian fatality rate from 2011 to 2012. The report also shows a 10 percent increase in the number of pedestrians who were injured in motor vehicle accidents during that time period. People who are injured in auto-pedestrian accidents can partner with a car accident lawyer in Chicago and file for damages, even if the driver who caused the accident was not charged with a crime.
A study conducted this year by Smart Growth America ranked Illinois 31st in the nation for pedestrian safety. The state’s 13 percent pedestrian fatality rate is just above the national average of 12.3 percent. The study also found that 42.7 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred on roads with a posted speed limit of 40 mph or higher. Safety features, such as wide sidewalks, pedestrian countdown signals, lower speed limits and curb extensions, can help minimize the risk of traffic fatalities.
Failure to yield
The Active Transportation Alliance also conducted a study, which found that many Chicago drivers fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. The study showed that at traditional crosswalks, approximately 18 percent of motorists complied with the state’s must-stop law, which requires drivers to stop as soon as a pedestrian enters a crosswalk. The compliance rate increased to 61 percent, however, when other safety features, such as in-road signs, raised crosswalks or flashing beacons, were added to pedestrian crosswalks. Only 5 percent of drivers stopped for pedestrians who attempted to cross the street at non-marked crosswalks.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago law enforcement officers issued 1,933 citations to motorists who did not stop at crosswalks. The drivers were ticketed during an enforcement operation when they failed to stop for a plain clothes officer who was crossing the street at a crosswalk.
As Illinois law enforcement officials continue to improve the state’s pedestrian infrastructure and enforce pedestrian safety laws, people are urged to walk cautiously in order to avoid pedestrian accidents. A car accident lawyer in Chicago is ready to assist people who are injured or have lost a loved one due to driver negligence.