Articles Posted in Pedestrian Injuries

Pedestrian Accidents When Entering the CrosswalkJust as drivers have to obey traffic laws, it is important pedestrians follow the rules when entering the roadway and remain vigilant. While a person may never pull a U-turn in the middle of a crowded intersection while driving their car, that same person might suddenly cross the street on foot without even thinking twice. This might not give the oncoming traffic enough time to stop safely.

The latest statistics from Chicago

Over the last decade, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and City of Chicago have had a number of ongoing efforts aimed at improving pedestrian safety. This meant design improvements, raising awareness for both pedestrians and drivers, and enforcement initiatives. According to the latest statistics released in 2011 (available here), this has made a significant impact. In fact, between 2001 and 2009, the number of pedestrian crashes in Chicago dropped more than 22 percent.

Crosswalk Accidents are Dangerous and CommonA recent truck accident has left the University of Illinois community mourning for the loss of music student Mimi Liu, 20. Mimi Liu was a student at the Merit School of Music, where she studied piano. She was a talented musician and remembered as a diligent music student. A swerving truck hit her as she walked on the sidewalk with two friends on campus, and the impact of the collision caused her death. The truck driver claimed that he was suffering from diabetic shock at the time of the accident.

After the accident occurred, authorities were called to the scene to investigate the circumstances behind it. Urbana, Illinois police are continuing to investigate the accident. Since the accident, Urbana police have issued a ticket to Willie Craft Sr., the truck driver, for improper lane usage and driving without auto insurance.Mimi Liu was a very involved student at the University of Illinois, where she was also part of the Chinese Fine Arts Society. She also received many awards for her musical performances as part of the organization.
The two other students who were walking with her at the time of the accident were not seriously injured after the accident, but one of the students is still hospitalized and receiving treatment.In this case, it is unclear whether there was any negligence involved on the part of the truck driver. A further investigation may show that there were extenuating circumstances that reveal that the driver may have been negligent at the time of the accident. Other factors that may have an impact in causing a trucking accident may be fatigue or speeding on the road. Truck drivers may not follow federal regulations that require them to only drive for eight hours at a time, and this may cause drivers to swerve and lose control of the steering wheel.In other cases, a truck driver may simply choose not to abide by local traffic laws. Failing to stop at a stop sign or yield to pedestrians are actions that can have a major impact on the lives of pedestrians.

pedestrians have the right of wayMany motorists fail to yield to pedestrians even though in Illinois it is the law. Whether there is a marked crosswalk or not, Illinois right-of-way law states that motorists stop and yield to pedestrians crossing at an intersection. For the safety of both the pedestrian and the motorist, it is vital that drivers pay close attention when approaching an intersection where a pedestrian is trying to cross, especially when there is no traffic signs or signals.

Illinois Vehicle Code

While it is understandable that motorists cannot predicate pedestrians darting into traffic, it is expected and mandated that they watch for them at intersections. According to Illinois law, the following is applicable at both marked crosswalks and at intersections:

Chicago area where pedestrians are most vulnerable to get hit by carsIt seems big cities draw large crowds of people who both work in the city and who go head there for culture and just plain fun. Given the congestion (and expense) associated with larger cities, its not surprising that many folks opt to get around on foot.  While walking around cities may seem like the ideal mode of transportation, a closer look at pedestrian accident statistics may cause some city dwellers to think twice before they lace up their shoes– or at least cross the street with a little more caution.

As an accident lawyer in Chicago I find that that pedestrian accidents are some of the most horrific because of the obvious lack of protection a person has to protect them from the impact of a vehicle.

Recently, the Chicago Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioned a report on pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes within the metropolitan area.  The COT broke the city into 77 Chicago community areas (CCA) and also looked at the occurrence of accidents within the Central Business District (CBD). The analysis also looked at where the accidents happened in different area, such as on crosswalks or on the roadways themselves.

Car AccidentAs attorneys who represent people injured in car accidents in the Chicagoland area, our office spends quite bit of time reviewing police reports related to the incident. Formally known as an Illinois Traffic Crash Report, it is a document prepared by local law enforcement agencies following every motor vehicle accident involving an injury or property damage within their jurisdiction.

Generally, for incidents occurring on City streets, the reports are prepared by the police officers within the municipality where the incident occurred. For incidents taking place on an Interstate, the reports are prepared by the Illinois State Police.

Lots Of Concise Details About Each Accident

In the United States, almost thirty people die everyday from alcohol-impaired driving.  In 2010, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 31% of all traffic-related deaths or 10,228 people.  Young people, especially ages 21-24, are most at risk for alcohol related car accidents and, in 2010, were responsible for 32% of all instances of drinking and driving.  For underage drinkers, the greatest single mortality risk factor is motor vehicle accidents.  Men, in 2010, were involved in 81% of all drinking and driving.

Drunk DrivingIn Illinois, the legal limit is .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), however a person can be arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for a BAC between .05 and .08.  625 ILCS 5/11-501.  At this level, a person’s balance, speech, vision, reaction time, and hearing becomes poor, it is harder to detect danger, and judgment and self-control are impaired.

These symptoms can cause drivers problems with concentration, speed control, impaired reception, short-term memory loss, and reduced information processing.  As of 2011, Illinois has 49,537 three-time offenders, 5,659 five-time offenders, and 298 DUI fatalities.

back injuryAs a Chicago personal injury lawyer, I everyday seems to remind me that back and neck injuries are indeed serious injuries that can result in permanent disability, paralysis, or even death.  Back and injuries can involve the bone, muscle, or soft tissue.  Common injuries include strains and sprains, fractured vertebrae, sciatica, and herniated disks.

The most common location for back injuries and back pain is the lower back because the lower back supports your body weight.  80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives.  Common causes of back and neck injuries include trauma (falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports, birth injury), arthritis, cancer, degenerative conditions, and surgical injury.

Back Pain

Chicago Pedestrian Crashes The report put out in 2011 by the Chicago DOT on pedestrian safety broke down crashes involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian by both day and time. The data helps highlight any trends that can help law enforcement and city officials make the streets safer during times that have a higher instance of accidents.

Days Of The Week: Yes They Matter When It Comes to Keeping Pedestrians Safe

The analysis brought forth some interesting trends in the day of the week that accidents occur, differing from the national statistics. Although Friday and Saturdays are the highest pedestrian crash days nationwide with 17% and 18% of crashes happening respectively on those days, Chicago had more crashes on Thursdays.

Chicago PedestriansPedestrian safety is a high priority for Chicago law enforcement and governing bodies. This focus on creating safe streets for all Chicagoans has lead to declining accidents over the last decade between motor vehicles and pedestrians. The CDOT studied the crash data between 2005 and 2009 to determine what areas can be improved to continue the downward spiral of pedestrian accidents in Chicago.

Crash Trend Statistics for Chicago Traffic Accidents

In the report compiled in 2011, the analysis of auto crashes where the first point of contact was a pedestrian showed favorable results. The CDOT looked at several factors, including overall crashes, serious injuries and fatalities. The findings were encouraging.

Are Pedestrian Safe With SUV’s On The Road
[Photo Caption: Though glorified in the American media, multiple studies say SUVs create dangerous scenarios for passengers and pedestrians.]

As a regular pedestrian in downtown Chicago, I can’t help but notice the army of SUVs that’ve overtaken our city’s streets. Hummers….Jeeps…Land Rovers….I see all these gas-guzzling giants out in droves – despite a deep recession and nearly $4 prices at the pump.

SUV Dangers

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