Car accidents are traumatic events for victims and their families when they involve victims who suffer personal injuries or death. These accidents also take away the safety of other people on the road and make them vulnerable, especially as we all see more and more accidents in news headlines. This is especially true when there are hit-and-run accidents. In instances such as these victims are left helpless and wrongdoers avoid being held accountable. Unfortunately, these hit-and-run accidents happen every day in our Chicago neighborhoods.
In recent news by CBS Chicago, a pregnant woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver in the Englewood neighborhood. The accident occurred in the early afternoon in the 6000 block of South Halsted Street. The woman, a pedestrian, was crossing Halsted while carrying clothes to the laundromat down the street when a speeding car struck her in the crosswalk. Several witnesses ran to the woman’s aid, and she was brought to a local hospital, but unfortunately died several hours later. What’s worse is that this driver never stopped after hitting the woman, and was only taken into custody after being pulled over a mile away in the 5300 block of South Union Avenue. The victim was already a mother to a five-year-old.
Pedestrian accidents happen all too often, and this does not just include an individual crossing the street but could be someone out walking or going for a jog as well. A February 2015 report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration analyzed pedestrian accidents from 2004 through 2013. In the most recent year analyzed, 2013, there were 4,735 pedestrians killed in the United States, and another 66,000 suffered personal injuries. This means that a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes in motor vehicle accidents. Furthermore, just in the year 2013, pedestrian deaths accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities. Alcohol involvement was reported in 49% of these accidents. In 92% of the instances were pedestrians were killed, the incident involved a single vehicle, similar to the accident described above. Also similar to the news article, in 2013 one-fifth of pedestrians killed were struck by hit-and-run drivers.
Unfortunately, the NHTSA fact sheet also reports that 73% of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, such as Chicago. Such alarming statistics show how important it is for a city like Chicago to address pedestrian accidents, make our streets safer, and to hold negligent drivers accountable. Pedestrian accidents are extremely dangerous and often deadly, which is easy to understand when considering the mass and speed of a vehicle versus that of a human being. We are very vulnerable when against cars, and even though this may be true, it does not mean that we should have to be in danger in our own neighborhoods. Crosswalks are available and intended for pedestrians to use as a safe means of walking across the street and should not have to be in danger when utilizing them. Negligent and reckless drivers ought to be held accountable for their wrongdoing, and that is why our attorneys believe in using legal action as a vehicle of change in making our city a safer place for pedestrians.