Earlier in August, the Chicago Tribune published an article entitled “Head’s up, everyone,” that discusses the prevalence of pedestrian accidents at crosswalks and what the City is doing to reduce them. According to the article, most Chicago pedestrians assume that when the walk signal on the stop light is illuminated, it is completely safe to go ahead and cross the street because pedestrians have the right-of-way, and drivers are supposed to yield to them. The article continues on and says that almost 80% of all Chicago pedestrian-automobile accidents happens at intersections, where pedestrians feel the most safe to cross the street.
The article also calls attention to some alarming statistics that the Chicago Tribune recently reported on. According to that analysis, there were “17,847 crashes involving 18,376 pedestrians” between 2005 and 2009. The City is realizing the seriousness of these numbers, and considering ways to prevent, and reduce them. The City’s plan includes identifying key places to focus on, whether it be because that area is known for hosting many crashes, whether the infrastructure in that area needs to be re-engineered, or if a certain neighborhood in that area needs education regarding pedestrian accidents.
Cab drivers also play a large role in pedestrian accidents. They were involved in close to one-third of pedestrian accidents in Chicago’s business district, the Chicago Tribune reports. Knowing this information, local officials can better tailor their efforts to specific areas in order to reduce pedestrian accidents involving taxis. Not only were cab drivers a big contributor to these types of accidents, but teenagers were involved, too. The same study also revealed that 15-year-olds to 18-year-olds caused the highest number of pedestrian-car accident victims. This is where the city’s education plan comes into play.
Our Chicago pedestrian attorneys support the City’s efforts to improve safety at crosswalks. We also encourage our readers to be attentive pedestrians and to be alert when crossing the road. Avoid iPods, smartphones, and text messages while crossing the street. It is also important to pay attention to stop lights, and not only the color of the light, but the cars around the intersection. If there is no light, you have the right-of-way, however cars may not always abide by that so stay as focused and alert as possible. The Illinois Rules of the Road state that pedestrians must yield by following traffic lights, signals, and use crosswalks. However, it continues to say that a driver needs to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when there are no traffic signs or signals, when making turns (such as a right turn on a red light), when they are in the crosswalk, when there is a “walk” sign illuminated, to Illinois Department of Transportation workers, and finally to people with disabilities.
Our Chicago accident lawyers believe that the most important thing that drivers and pedestrians can do is to look out for each other, and to stay alert when on the road in any form. Our Chicago accident attorneys may be able to help you if you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries in a pedestrian accident. Please contact us to discuss your potential lawsuit.