Fighting for Pedestrian Safety in Chicago
In busy cities like Chicago, accidents that result in injured pedestrians are a common reality, and are extremely unfortunate. In some cases, the pedestrian is killed or suffers from long-term injuries that affect quality of life. Whether you are walking in the city or you are driving, it is important that you do what you can to avoid injuring pedestrians or becoming a statistic yourself.
Driver Negligence – A Common Cause of Pedestrian Injuries
Driver negligence is one of the leading causes of accidents with pedestrians. In fact, nearly one-fifth of pedestrian fatalities in the country in 2012 were hit-and-run accidents. Also, a high percentage of pedestrian fatalities occurred due to drunken driving. In Illinois, and most states, traffic laws require vehicles to yield to pedestrians who inherently have the right-of-way. Motorists must also yield to pedestrians even when there are no traffic lights or they are not functioning properly.
Tips for Pedestrians to Stay Safe
You cannot control those on the roads with you, but if you plan to walk in Chicago amongst the cars, delivery trucks, and motorcycles, there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood that you will be in an accident:
- Know the rules of the road. As a pedestrian, always be aware of the rules of the road – and specifically when you do or do not have the right of way. Always obey traffic rules and pay attention to the lights, as well as crosswalk signals. Cross the intersection in designated areas to increase the likelihood that cars will see you.
- Do not engage in distracted walking. Distracted walking is just as dangerous as distracted driving. When you are not paying attention to where you are going, you could walk in front of a vehicle, miss crosswalk signals, or accidentally veer out of a pedestrian walk path. It is especially dangerous to walk and text in a parking lot when you should be looking out for vehicles backing out or driving in.
- Stick to the sidewalk and designated walking paths. When possible, always stay on the sidewalk or in a pedestrian path designated by the city. If you must walk on the road, be aware of the vehicles and your surroundings. You must also walk against traffic, which may increase the likelihood cars that see you.
- Be alert. Know where the vehicles are, where cyclists are, and be on the lookout for drivers who are not paying attention. Before crossing a road in front of a vehicle, make eye contact with the driver to ensure that he or she sees you. This may dramatically decrease the likelihood that the car will continue through the crosswalk.
Injured? Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney
If you are injured in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident, contact Malman Law. Our attorneys aggressively protect your rights to compensation, and we will hold reckless drivers or even pedestrians who cause serious accidents responsible for their negligence. Schedule a consultation today to explore your options by calling us toll-free or requesting your appointment online.