When most people think of car accidents, they usually think of collisions involving two vehicles, with the sounds of screeching tires and the impact of crunching metal and glass. But a fair percentage of car accidents involve only one driver. And despite involving only one vehicle, these types of accidents can often result in substantial damage and sometimes horrendous injuries—especially when the accident involves a pedestrian.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are far from rare. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, in 2012:
- 4,743 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the United States;
- Pedestrian deaths accounted for 14% of all vehicle crash fatalities;
- 19% of pedestrian deaths were committed by hit-and-run drivers;
- 73% of pedestrian fatalities were in urban areas;
- 30% of fatalities occurred at intersections;
- 15% of pedestrians killed in crashes were 70 years old or older;
- 76,000 pedestrians were injured;
- Of the 76,000 injuries, 14,000 (or 18%) were to children under 15 years old;
- There were 2,943 pedestrian crashes in the City of Chicago alone;
How Do Most Pedestrian Crashes Occur?
Too often, even relatively alert motorists pay attention only to other vehicles on the roads, and not to others on or near the roadway such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Pedestrians may not only include those walking along city streets, but joggers, skateboarders, people in wheelchairs or other assistive devices, and scooters. Pedestrians also include anyone who may be on or near a roadway, such as people crossing the street to visit their neighbors, or children playing on the sidewalk.
Many pedestrian accidents are the result of drivers who are not paying sufficient attention to their surroundings. Pedestrians are frequently hit by a vehicle while:
- The vehicle is turning at an intersection or into a driveway or parking lot;
- The pedestrian is walking through a parking lot and the vehicle is driving through; and
- The vehicle is backing up out of a parking space or driveway.
Drivers have a duty of care while operating their vehicles that extends not only to other cars on the road, but also to other users of the road: motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, people in wheelchairs, and so on. This often means being a defensive, rather than aggressive, driver. Drivers need to be especially wary when driving through areas that are likely to have more children present: residential neighborhoods, school zones, shopping areas, and parks. This is critical, since young children are often less aware of their surroundings and of the dangers posed by moving vehicles, and more difficult for drivers to spot because of their small stature. It is also important for parents to educate their children about the dangers of vehicles and roadways, and in particular the dangers inherent in walking through parking lots (such as back-over accidents) and in crossing streets. Parents accompanying their young toddlers along roadways should always have them by the hand or carry them, if at all possible.
Have You Been Injured by a Motor Vehicle While a Pedestrian in Chicago? Abels & Annes Can Help
As more and more people turn to either public transportation or walking as an alternative to commuting by car, more pedestrians end up on the public roadways, particularly in urban areas like Chicago, where people often walk from bus stops, “L” stops, or rail stations to their homes or places of employment.
Too frequently, pedestrians are hit by motorists who are too distracted to notice them crossing the street or walking behind a vehicle. And when this happens, it will be the pedestrian, not the motorist, who pays the price. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes have extensive experience representing pedestrians who are injured in vehicle accidents. We can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf, or a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one who has been killed in a pedestrian accident in Chicago or anywhere else in Cook County or the surrounding communities.
If you or someone close to you has suffered an accident as a pedestrian, visit our firm for a free, no-obligation consultation. These can be very complex cases, and hiring a law firm familiar with all of the issues involved in pedestrian accidents in the Chicago area is you best option for obtaining the compensation you deserve. Our veteran personal injury attorneys have a proven track record of success in litigating personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of clients and families living with the tragedy of a serious or fatal pedestrian accident.
Contact Abels & Annes, P.C., toll-free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO, or locally in Chicago at (312) 924-7575, or use the form here on this website. At Abels & Annes, we stand on our record of success.