Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are a serious and growing problem. In the United States, over 5,000 pedestrians die each year in vehicle-related incidents.
Are you or a loved one the victim of a pedestrian accident? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for many pedestrians injured through another's recklessness.
Contact a Chicago pedestrian accident attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Main Causes of Pedestrian Injuries
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), pedestrian fatalities "account for more than one-third of all crash fatalities, yet they comprise less than 5 percent of vehicle occupant deaths."
Many of the common reasons why many pedestrian deaths occur include:
- A failure to yield the right-of-way
- Reduced visibility when the pedestrian wears dark clothing at night
- Adverse weather conditions
- Working or standing in the roadway
- Distracted driving
- Driver negligence
- Improperly using an intersection or crosswalk
- Running, jogging, or biking on the road against the traffic flow
- Cars speeding and violating the posted speed limit
- Physical impairment, including the use of medication, alcohol, or drugs
- Distracted pedestrians in designated crosswalks
- Drivers exceeding the speed limit
- Pedestrian accidents in unmarked crosswalks
- Failure to watch for traffic signs in a designated crosswalk
- Faulty traffic signals
- Failure of drivers to use turn traffic signal
- Failure to consider surrounding traffic
In Illinois and most other states, pedestrians have the right-of-way when they are in a crosswalk. Unfortunately, this means that drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
It doesn't matter whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked, and it doesn't matter if there's a caution light, stop sign, or another marker. The pedestrian has the right-of-way.
It also doesn't matter what direction the driver is traveling on the road. They are required to stop and let pedestrians cross the street.
Many pedestrian accidents happen when drivers assume that pedestrians will wait for them to make a turn, or they expect the pedestrian to stop. Car accident victims who dart out into oncoming traffic or jaywalk can still win a lawsuit if they are hit by a vehicle.
Keeping Pedestrians Safe
Drivers carry a great responsibility to ensure the safety of pedestrians, even if they are not acting in a responsible manner themselves.
Nobody wants to live with pedestrian deaths or permanent injury of others on their conscience, which is why drivers should always offer the right of way to pedestrians under all circumstances.
The Chicago pedestrian injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC protect the rights of those individuals who have been harmed or killed because of the actions of a negligent motorist. We believe that understanding the main causes of pedestrian accidents will help others avoid these tragic accidents.
Call us for a free legal consultation to discuss receiving compensation from the defendant's insurance company.
Pedestrian Accidents and Traffic Laws
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians are prohibited from walking into the path of a vehicle that is so close that the driver can't yield.
When a pedestrian is crossing the street in an unmarked crosswalk, they are required to yield the right of way to vehicles unless one of the following applies:
- The pedestrian has already crossed half of the road or more
- A police officer warned the person that they needed to get out of the roadway because of the oncoming traffic conditions
- If you fail to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, you can be fined $120 for violating traffic laws
- If you injure or kill someone, you can be fined between $1,000 and $10,000 with the possibility of jail time
Drivers must make a complete stop when traffic is ahead of them, and at least one lane of travel in their direction is blocked. If there are no vehicles in front of you, but there's a pedestrian signal, you must wait until the crosswalk is clear before you move your car.
Drivers must come to a complete stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and intersections unless it is a lane controlled by a traffic light, in which case you're only required to yield the right of way.
When pedestrians or bicyclists are walking along, and there's no sidewalk available, drivers must come to another complete stop and wait until it is safe for the pedestrians to cross the road before proceeding with a turn.
One of the traffic laws is that if you are driving too close to another vehicle, you may be guilty of committing reckless driving. The penalty for this offense is up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500.
Chicago Pedestrian Accidents
More than 32,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in Chicago between 2005 and 2009, but only four percent of these accidents involved children 14 years old or younger.
Among pedestrians who are 65 years old or older, most were killed by a vehicle during this four-year time frame. The highest number of fatal pedestrian crashes happen between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., with nearly half occurring between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Between 2005 and 2009, nearly 20 percent of fatal vehicle accidents in Chicago involved a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Most of these accidents occur when pedestrians are crossing the road illegally. Still, drivers can also be held responsible for failing to yield the right of way even if the pedestrian was jaywalking at the time.
To avoid a pedestrian accident in Chicago, drivers need to yield the right of way when pedestrians are in crosswalks and intersections and obey the posted speed limits.
The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The NHTSA estimates that 70,000 pedestrians are injured, and 4,000 are killed every year in auto-related accidents. Unfortunately, pedestrians are far more likely to die in traffic crashes than motorists, motorcyclists, or bicyclists, which is why drivers need to do whatever it takes to notice and avoid them on the road.
Pedestrians share responsibility with other car accident victims hurt in crashes too, however, and must exercise appropriate caution and common sense.
Here are the most common pedestrian injuries causes our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers have noticed:
- Left turning drivers: If you didn't know that left turns are one of the most dangerous distracted driving maneuvers, you are not alone. It is a surprising revelation that left turn accidents are both common and extremely dangerous to everyone involved. It is easy for drivers to misjudge the speed and distance between their vehicles and others. As a result, distracted drivers strike most pedestrians in open areas, and traffic lights at marked and unmarked crosswalks are never seen.
- Pedestrians are not crossing at crosswalks: Jaywalking can be extremely dangerous, especially if a pedestrian enters the street between parked vehicles. It is much safer to cross at a marked crosswalk or controlled intersection, and drivers may be excused from liability if you cross in front of them at an undesignated crossing area.
- Distracted driving: The last decade has seen amazing advances in safety technology, and more drivers are being made aware of common dangers on the road. Technology has also afforded many more people an opportunity to multitask behind the wheel. Taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds to respond to a text messageor pick up a phone call can result in an accident.
- Distracted walking: Pedestrians themselves may be tied up in their mobile devices and not paying attention to where they are walking. The use of cellphones, iPods, tablets, and other mobile devices can make it more difficult for pedestrians to hear or see where they are walking. Some accidents result from a pedestrian stepping into the street while looking down at a phone or not hearing the car approaching when they choose to cross.
- Reduced vehicle noise: Hybrids and electric vehiclesdo not make nearly as much sound as vehicles with combustion engines. Many newer cars have technology that will cut off their engines while they are stopped. It can make them unnoticeable where they once made distinct sounds in the past, and pedestrians that forget to look in all directions before crossing the road never hear or see the vehicle before their accident.
- Poor visibility: Weather, nighttime and dark clothing can make pedestrians difficult to detect for even the most vigilant of careless drivers. Suppose you are planning on walking in heavily-trafficked areas.
In that case, you can do distracted drivers a favor and reduce your chances of being in an accident by wearing bright colors or carrying a flashlight. According to the NHSTA, 50% of pedestrian accidents occur on the weekend, and 70% occur at night, so anything you can do to make yourself more visible will help ensure your safety.
- Drunk driving: Nearly one-third of all traffic-related fatalities are due to drunk driving, and there is little that you can do to prepare for a driver under the influence. Drivers who harm others due to their careless choices should be held fully accountable for their actions.
- Main thoroughfares: Busy streets with high-speed limitscan be very dangerous for pedestrians in the city. There is no avoiding these streets as many people use them to access public transportation such as buses and trains to get to their destinations. Any time there is an increase in the volume of traffic, more accidents are likely to result.
- Speeding: Speed is one of the pedestrian accidents causes, including those involving pedestrians. Drivers who drive well past the speed limit have less time to react if pedestrians cross their path. Even if the pedestrian acted negligently, the driver could be held accountable if they drove faster than the posted speed limit.
- Illegal passing of a school bus: Motorists who pass school buses dropping off children don't only risk a hefty penalty but may also threaten the lives of the children exiting the bus and crossing the street.
Even though a pedestrian can be negligent, the rule that the passenger always has the right of way should be exercised to prevent causing serious harm to others.
You can sleep easier at night, having taken the time to slow down for pedestrians than you would if you ever seriously injured someone regardless of who was at fault.
Were you injured, or was a loved one killed in an accident with a negligent driver? If so, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your serious injuries and other related expenses and medical bills.
Legal Options in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
Our law firm specializes in representing victims who have been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident. We can help you file a civil claim against the person responsible for your injuries and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
We represent clients/victims in Illinois and throughout the USA. We can also help you file a wrongful death claim for your loved one killed in a pedestrian accident.
Surviving family members, including spouses, children, parents, grandparents, usually have the legal right to file a civil lawsuit against those who caused their loved one's death. In many cases, the damages that can be recovered for losing a loved one include medical expenses, funeral & burial costs, and loss of companionship.
Financial compensation and benefits are usually available even if the person at fault is not criminally charged with involuntary or voluntary manslaughter.
How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has helped countless clients move forward with their lives following tragic accidents. We have pursued the maximum amount of compensation available on their behalf and assisted them in accessing the medical treatment and rehabilitative therapy required to tend to their physical needs.
Seeking legal representation shortly after you have been injured will allow your attorney to gather the evidence needed to build a solid case, so contact us today to learn more about your rights and schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with insurance companies after experiencing a pedestrian crash with injuries or fatalities. A pedestrian accident injury attorney has answered some of those questions below.
For additional information, call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (or use the contact form today.
What Are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
The main causes of pedestrian accidents are drivers who do not exercise due care and caution when driving.
When pedestrian accidents occur, the injured victim should hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions by filing a civil claim, resulting in compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering and lost income.
Can I Recover Compensation If I Am Partially to Blame for the Accident?
If you were partially at fault or even completely at fault, you might still be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Our law firm can determine if you are entitled to filing a personal injury claim against the other driver involved in the accident. We represent clients/victims in Illinois and nationwide.
Surviving family members who lost a loved one in a pedestrian crash can also seek financial compensation for their loss. The compensation received can be used to cover funeral expenses, lost wages, and other household bills
How Can Pedestrian Accidents Be Prevented?
Pedestrian accidents can be prevented by drivers exercising caution and patience when on busy streets and intersections.
One way to prevent an accident is to assume that the pedestrian may not look both ways before crossing the street. Drivers need to focus on their surroundings at all times to avoid causing serious injury to others.
Is the Driver Likely to Be Charged With a Crime After Involving in a Pedestrian Accident?
The driver will likely be charged with a crime after an accident involving a pedestrian. In many states, driving under the influence (DUI) and failure to yield are both crimes. In addition, drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk can also be charged with failure to yield.
Even if the driver is not charged with a crime, they will most likely be held accountable by the civil court system resulting in financial compensation for damages.
What Are Some Common Injuries Resulting From a Pedestrian Accident?
The most common personal injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident include:
- Head and brain trauma, including traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Bone fractures, including spinal cord injury
- Cuts and lacerations of the skin
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
- Puncture wounds
When a loved one dies in a pedestrian accident, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf to recover financial compensation for their loss.
These benefits could include hospitalization costs, funeral & burial expenses, and a loss of future income.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Be sure to write down everything that happened as soon as possible and take photos of the scene and vehicle damage.
If possible, do not speak with the other driver, sign anything, and always seek legal advice by calling a pedestrian accident attorney.
Hiring a Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorney to Resolve a Compensation Case
Our Chicago pedestrian injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis so that we can offer award-winning premium services to anyone regardless of their means or financial situation.
You will never pay a fee upfront or otherwise for our services, and we will only be paid after we have secured damages on your behalf.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with personal injury lawyers today so that we can answer your questions, perform a detailed investigation into your matter and review your legal options with you in the setting of your choice.