Nearly 12 people are killed each day in pedestrian accidents throughout the United States, and there are some 70,000 reported pedestrian traffic injuries every year. Although this number has decreased significantly since 1995, it is still far too high, and most of these accidents are easily preventable if drivers and pedestrians use the proper care. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention; Walking Info)
This week, two people were injured in separate hit-and-run car accidents in the Logan Square neighborhood. In the first accident, a man was stuck by a red vehicle on Fullerton and Leclaire. Officials report that the man was taken to a local hospital, where he is in serious condition, and added that the 18-year-old driver of the vehicle has since turned himself into the authorities. The second accident, which occurred about an hour later near Fullerton and Lawndale around 7:30 Tuesday night, involved a 17-year-old girl and a black pick-up truck. The victim has been taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she is listed in critical condition, but police are still searching for the driver of the truck. (WGN-TV Chicago)
As we stated earlier, many pedestrian accidents are preventable, so our lawyers want to give you a few quick tips to staying safe when walking around in high traffic areas.
• Always cross the street at a designated crosswalk-This gives you the best chance of being seen by a driver. Pedestrians on the side of the road are often hard to see for drivers that are looking for other vehicles, especially in twilight hours and at night, so it is extremely dangerous to walk across a street with no signal.
• Practice caution at intersection, and never assume a driver will stop for you-Similar to our first point, never assume that a driver will see you. As a pedestrian you are far smaller than a vehicle, and are much more likely to be overlooked. Distractions and other factors also play a big role in drivers missing pedestrians. Just because there is a stop sign or crosswalk doesn’t mean you don’t have to use caution.
• If you are jogging or walking at night, increase your visibility-Wear high visibility jackets, or use flashing lights to alert drivers of your presence. Low visibility at night can be very dangerous for walkers and joggers, and you are always better safe than sorry.
• It’s always safer to walk or run on the sidewalk, but if this is not possible, always walk and run facing oncoming traffic-This allows you to see what is coming from a good distance away, giving you time to react and keep yourself safe.
Walking and jogging is a great way to be active and healthy, especially with beautiful fall weather upon us. Our lawyers hope that the above statistics will help you lead a safer and more active autumn!