In 2010, the most recent year for which data was available, 4,280 people were killed, and more than 70,000 were injured in pedestrian car accidents throughout the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses the term ‘pedestrian car accident’ to denote any automobile or traffic accident that involves a person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, lying down, etc. According to the statistical averages, automobiles kill a pedestrian every two hours, and during the course of any given day, roughly 180 people will be seriously injured, equating to one individual every 8 minutes. (NHTSA)
As it is, pedestrians account for 13% of our nation’s total traffic fatalities. Still, because of the fact that the NHTSA’s annual traffic safety crash data excludes accidents that occur on private property, such as parking lots or driveways, we can be relatively certain that even these staggering numbers are an underestimation. The millions of people who live and work in the City of Chicago, including our lawyers and staff, are at a much greater risk than most when it comes to these accidents, as nearly 75% of them happen in urban areas. The reason for this probably has something to do with the ubiquity of distractions on the sidewalks and streets in our city centers, as well as the fact that many people are hurrying from place to place at any given moment. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
It is important to remember to always use caution when walking or jogging in the city. That means using crosswalks, signals, and wearing reflective clothing when jogging. Above all, never assume that a car is going to yield to you as a pedestrian, or that all vehicles are able to see you. When a vehicle is approaching an intersection or is coming toward you on a street, wait until it has come to a complete stop to cross.