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Articles Tagged with pedestrian accidents

Taking an evening stroll should not cause you to fear for your life, but the sad reality is that this scenario is becoming more common, as pedestrian accidents become a growing safety issue in the U. S. The fact that these accidents tend to result in more serious, life-threatening injuries and fatalities than other kinds of car accidents, combined with the fact that they have risen significantly in recent years, is extremely concerning.Pedestrian-accident-1024x683

Pedestrian Deaths Are on the Rise

 Between 2010 and 2019, pedestrian deaths increased a shocking 45% in the U.S.,  with 53,435 pedestrians being hit and killed by vehicles. The last four recorded years, 2016 through 2019, were the deadliest years on record, with more than 6,000 people killed in each of those years. That breaks out to more than 16 deaths a day, which is unacceptably high.

car-accident-1660670_1920-300x300As Illinois moves into phase 3 of COVID-19 reopening, traffic is making a big comeback. You may have noticed that the roads are more crowded, the parking lots are a bit fuller, and the expressways feel more like they did in January and February.

If you’ve noticed an uptick in traffic, you’re not alone. Congestion, higher travel times, and traffic crashes are on the rise as Illinois resumes activities under phase 3 of the Illinois reopening plan.

After the state-wide stay-at-home order took effect in mid-March, weekly traffic volume in Chicago was cut in half. As of last week, traffic was back to 77% of 2019 levels, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

ped-300x207While there are fewer cars on the road and fewer car crashes, new data shows that the crashes that are happening are causing more severe injuries than before the pandemic.

According to WGN News, during the first week of March, there were 2,063 reported crashes in Chicago. That number began dropping after March 13, when the federal government declared a national emergency and continued to drop after Illinois’ Stay At Home Order took effect on March 21st.  Last week, the number of crashes in Chicago was down to 803. Despite the drop in crashes, there has been an increase in crash severity.

Data from The Northwestern University Transportation Center shows a small increase in severe car crashes over the last month.

walking-4555769_1920-225x300From the time they begin walking, children are in danger of being injured as pedestrians. According to some very sad statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, one in five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic accidents was a pedestrian. Children are less experienced with road safety, less aware of the danger that cars pose, more impulsive, and harder for drivers to see. Too many children are injured or killed every year by distracted, intoxicated, speeding, or negligent drivers. When that happens, families are left reeling, devastated by the aftermath– physical, emotional, and financial—of these tragic accidents.

Adults can help protect children by being aware of the scenarios that are especially dangerous for children and by knowing what to do after a child has been struck by a car or truck. The child pedestrian accident attorneys at The Collins Law Firm can guide you through the legal process after an accident with care and compassion. Knowing the most common situations that lead to pedestrian accidents can help prevent them in the first place.

How do Children Get Injured in Pedestrian Accidents?

crossing-801713_1920-2-300x198Serious pedestrian accidents in Chicago and the suburbs continue to be a problem for a number of reasons: more people walking to work, an increase in traffic on the roads, and drivers failing to look out for pedestrians. Increasing cell phone usage and distracted driving are also putting pedestrians at risk. Tragically, two pedestrians in Naperville and St. Charles have been seriously injured and pedestrians in Bloomington, Morton Grove, and Chicago have died after being struck by cars recently. Municipalities need to address this problem by analyzing where and why pedestrian accidents happen and taking measures to prevent these tragedies from occurring.

In the meantime, how can victims and families be compensated for these terrible accidents? If a pedestrian is hit by a car, the driver is usually –but not always—found to be at fault and his or her insurance compensates the pedestrian. That is because most states have laws requiring drivers to be alert to their surroundings and to hazards in the road, which would include pedestrians. If the pedestrian is following the rules of the road and is struck by a motorist who is speeding, fails to yield, is disobeying traffic signals, or is otherwise impaired or distracted, the driver is at fault and their policy must compensate the victim. Even pedestrians who are not in the crosswalk may get compensation from the driver’s insurance if they were paying attention, did not act irresponsibly, and did not run into the road to try to beat traffic.

But what happens if the responsible driver is not insured?  If the at-fault driver has no insurance or very little insurance, then the pedestrian’s own uninsured and underinsured coverage in their auto policy can compensate them for injuries sustained even if they were not driving at the time. Most people are not aware of this.

chicago-390441_1920 (3).jpgA new report by the Active Transportation Alliance, a Chicago based nonprofit dedicated to making streets safer for pedestrians, bikers and motorists, is surprising people in the Chicago suburbs.

Why?

Because it reveals that traffic fatalities in the suburbs in 2015–the latest year for which statistics are available–outnumbered those in Chicago by a margin of nearly 3 to 1. This is shocking to suburbanites who assume that Chicago, with its snarl of traffic, is a much more dangerous place to drive.

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