Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accident

Every year, almost 5,000 people are killed and 70,000 are injured in pedestrian accidents. To put those numbers into perspective, that averages out to roughly one pedestrian death every two hours, and one pedestrian injury every 8 minutes.

We are now almost a week into the month of August and before you know it children all across the state of Illinois will be heading back to school. Having dealt with many cases involving injuries to children, our lawyers know how important it is that every parent be educated on how to keep their child safe when heading to and from school. Together, we have compiled some tips on teaching your child about the dangers of pedestrian accidents, and measures that they can take to prevent them.
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Everyone has their own checklist when it comes to picking their means of transportation. Some like automobiles, while others find it more convenient to utilize the L train or a bus to get around town. Regardless of our varying personal preferences, there is one thing that we all share; when we step out of that train, bus or car, we are all pedestrians.

According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians were one of the only demographics in America to experience an increase in traffic fatalities last year, with the death toll climbing to over 4,400 individuals. Summer is roughly a month away, and people all over the state of Illinois will soon be spending more time outside to take advantage of the warm weather and longer daylight hours. For this reason it’s important that we all know how to keep ourselves safe on sidewalks and near roadways. What follows are a few tips our lawyers have come up with to keep pedestrians safe this summer. (NHTSA)

Choose a Safe Place to Walk, and Know Your Surroundings-It’s always safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one is not available and you have to walk on the side of a road, do so facing traffic to allow yourself the opportunity to see oncoming vehicles ahead of time. When crossing a street always use a designated crosswalk when available.
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Earlier this week, a 38-year-old man struck and killed a pedestrian in the West Garfield Park neighborhood while operating his van on a suspended license. The accident occurred at the intersection of Pulaski Road and Van Buren Street around 8 p.m. Tuesday night. According to reports from police and investigators, the driver’s 2000 Dodge van was traveling northbound on Pulaski Road when the vehicle hit a 33-year-old pedestrian, who was crossing the street eastbound at the intersection (although the victim was not in the crosswalk at the time of the accident). The victim was transported to nearby Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment, but was pronounced dead just before 9 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. The van’s driver has been cited with three violations, including failure to yield to a pedestrian, driving on a suspended license, and driving without insurance. Currently, the police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is investigating the crash further. (Chicago Sun Times)

Throughout the United States, pedestrian accidents claim the lives of more than 4,000 pedestrians every year, and are responsible for injuring approximately 70,000 additional individuals annually. Statistics also show that if you live or work in an urban area, such as Chicago, you are far more likely to fall victim to pedestrian accidents. Our lawyers believe that knowing the risk factors associated with these accidents is a crucial step in taking the necessary actions to prevent them, and with that in mind, here is a brief list highlighting who is most at risk:

Elderly Adults-Pedestrians over the age of 65 account for roughly 20% of all pedestrian accident fatalities, and 11% of pedestrian injuries. This is likely due to the fact that the weaker bones and bodies of elderly people are far more susceptible to blunt force trauma caused by these accidents.

More than 70,000 individuals are injured in pedestrian car accidents throughout the United States each year. That equates to one pedestrian injury every 8 minutes. Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final regulatory decision related to pedestrian safety, which will require all auto manufacturers producing vehicles weighing less than 10,000 lbs. to equip their vehicles with rear visibility technology by May of 2018. This regulatory rule will affect everything from smaller sedans and mid-sized SUVs, to buses, trucks, and other large vehicles. (Center for Disease Control & Prevention; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Many believe that this new rule is a significant step toward enhancing the safety of automobiles, citing that rear visibility technology will be a particularly valuable tool for reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries in pedestrian car accidents, such as ‘back over accidents’. A back over accident occurs when a vehicle reverses, striking a pedestrian, but the driver is unaware that any accident has occurred. Because of this, the driver continues to reverse, backing over the pedestrian. According the statistics collected from the NHTSA, an average of 210 pedestrian fatalities and 15,000 injuries are caused by back over accidents each year. Analysis of the same data found that children under the age of 5 accounted for nearly 1/3rd of all back over fatalities, and additionally, that adults over the age of 70 constituted more than 1/4th of the fatalities.

In addressing this problem, the NHTSA reported that they took the necessary time to ensure that this policy would be both flexible and achievable. Rear visibility technology will expand millions of drivers’ fields of view, allowing them to be more aware of the area behind their vehicle. The NHTSA has stipulated that this field of view must cover a 10-foot by 20-foot area directly behind the vehicle, and that the systems are also required to meet other standards, such as image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation. Including vehicles that already have these systems installed, the Agency estimates that anywhere from 58 to 69 lives will be saved each year once all of the required vehicles are equipped with this technology.

In 2010, 4,280 individuals were killed in pedestrian car accidents throughout the United States, and another 70,000 people were injured. Unfortunately, pedestrians were one of only a few demographics of road users that experienced an increase in fatalities last year, and this is a trend we are determined to put to an end. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

In an attempt to alleviate these numbers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Everyone is a Pedestrian campaign is attempting to educate both drivers and pedestrians on ways to stay safe. Our lawyers thought we would pass some of this information along to our readers:

When Walking:

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.

In the last few decades, technology has become a ubiquitous part of our lives as Americans. If you were to pick out a random individual walking down the street and ask him or her to empty their pockets, you would probably find that they have at least one piece of technology on them, if not several. While things like smartphones, tablets, Mp3 players, and navigation systems have the potential to make our lives easier and more enjoyable, they can be incredibly hazardous inside an automobile. In the aftermath of a deadly car accident that killed a 6-year-old girl and seriously injured two members of her family, the smartphone app designer Uber is raising questions all over the country regarding the safety of the technology in vehicles, and who is to blame when it goes wrong.

Four years ago, Uber was created as an ambitious Silicon Valley startup, and it has been on an upward trajectory ever since. The software, now valued at approximately $4 billion, can be used by anyone with a smartphone to get a ride in a similar fashion to a taxi. However, with Uber rapidly hiring in an attempt to satisfy larger amounts of customers, many users have expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of their drivers, a grievance made more urgent after an Uber affiliate hit a mother and her two children in a crosswalk on New Year’s Eve, killing a 6-year-old.

This fatal accident has brought about the first wrongful-death lawsuit against Uber, and represents a new area of controversy in the legal realm. Regulators and courts are struggling to categorize Uber, unsure as to whether it is a taxi company or a technology platform. With drivers owning their own vehicles, but being employed as affiliates of Uber, these cases fall into a gray area of employee vs. freelancers. If the previous four years are any indication, Uber will only continue to grow larger, and with more Uber drivers taking to the streets, the chance of accidents affiliated with the company become greater and greater. Many personal insurance policies refuse to cover commercial activity, and in response some states, such a California, have required Uber to carry a $1 million per accident liability policy to pay victims for their injuries in the event of a crash. (New York Times)

No matter what car you drive, eventually you will have to get out of your vehicle. This is one thing that all motorists share; everyone is a pedestrian at one point or another. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this data group was one of the few categories of road user to actually experience an increase in their fatality rates in the United States since last year, with 4,432 deaths. In densely populated urban areas like Chicago, pedestrian accidents are much more likely to happen, so our lawyers would like to pass along a few tips on how to minimize potential injuries during a collision. We hope you are never put in a position that merits using these accident tips, but if you are ever the victim of a pedestrian car accident, they just might save your life. (NHTSA)

Protect Your Head Above All Else-Broken bones and internal bleeding are very serious, but these injuries pale in comparison to head injuries. Damage to the skull and brain can be life-threatening, and can hinder cognitive function later in life, preventing you from returning to work or caring for yourself. In the event of an accident, cover your head with your arms immediately, so that your forehead is in the crook of your elbows and your hands are covering the back of your head. Position your body so that the impact of the collision doesn’t come near your head, and ensure that your head is nowhere near the wheels of the vehicle.

Aim for the Safety Glass-All cars produced after the 1970s are equipped with shatterproof glass that is designed to absorb impacts. If you are able, try to roll onto the hood of the vehicle, with your backside facing toward the glass. Always try to get to the top of the hood, as this lessens the impact of the collision, and will prevent you from being run over by the car.

Traffic work zones are a necessity in order to maintain the United States’ many highways, bridges, roadways, etc. In an effort to prevent dangerous infrastructural hazards in the long-term, many of the short-term risks that these areas create are seen as a necessary evil. Still, work zones can be very dangerous for both the motorists who pass through their often-confusing assemblage of signs, construction barrels, and lane changes, as well as for the hardworking men and women who build, maintain, and repair our roads every day for a living. Earlier this week, one such accident on Illinois Route 14 injured a local construction worker.

The early morning crash occurred in a marked construction zone not far from Hamilton County Road. According to Illinois State Police officials, the victim, a 38-year-old construction worker from Belleville, had been working near 1575E with his hazard lights on, and was stopped with a 2006 GMC truck on Route 14. Around 11 a.m. a 2005 Toyota Rav4 driving through the zone collided with the rear end of the man’s truck, causing him to be injured. While police reported that the victim had required transportation to nearby McLeansboro Hospital by ambulance, they did not record the nature or extent of his injuries. The driver of the Toyota has been charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. (KFVS12)

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 101 worker fatalities occurred in construction zones in 2008, 116 in 2009, 106 in 2010, and 122 in 2011. These kinds of transportation incidents added up to a total of roughly 90,000 accidents, and accounted for more than 75% of all occupational injuries in 2011, the final year for which statistics are provided. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how fit you are, or how tough you are, when you compare your body of flesh and bone to a two ton steel frame automobile, you simply don’t have a chance. In 2010, 4,280 people were killed and 70,000 more were injured in pedestrian car accidents, averaging out to roughly one fatality every two hours, and an injury every 8 minutes. (Center for Disease Control)

This week police continue to investigate the death of a man in an apparent hit and run accident. Around 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, authorities responded to a report of a man down in the roadway near the southbound entrance ramp from Washington Street to Route 41 in Gurnee, and discovered the victim on the side of the road. Officers say that the man was unresponsive upon their arrival, and that Gurnee Fire Department medics found no signs of life. The 31-year-old man was later identified, but no vehicle has been linked to the accident. Police believe that red light cameras near the accident may be able to shed light on the incident, and ask anyone with information to come forward to help the investigation. (NBC Chicago)

There has been a 23% drop in the number of pedestrian fatalities since 1995, and that means even with more cars on the road, people are becoming more aware of the issue and are likely walking and driving a little bit safer. However, pedestrians are still over represented in traffic accident data, accounting for 13% of deaths but only 10.9% of total trips, and this means that they are still more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash. (WalkingInfo)

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