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Plainfield pedestrian injury attorneyOn December 1st, 2018, a 63-year-old Illinoisan was killed after being struck by a vehicle in the northern suburb of Waukegan. After the vehicle struck the pedestrian, the driver fled from the scene and has yet to be located by local law enforcement officials. The victim was rushed to a local hospital, where he was ultimately pronounced dead. The tragedy served as a sobering reminder of the risks that pedestrians face each and every day. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), approximately 6,000 American pedestrians were fatally injured throughout 2017 alone. If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. 

Study Indicates Increased Collisions Involving Pedestrians 

Here in the state of Illinois, pedestrian injuries are alarmingly common. According to data reported by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), 4,600 pedestrians were injured after being struck by motor vehicles in 2016, and 150 people died in these types of collisions. 

Accidents involving pedestrians are more common in urban areas, so it should come as no surprise that a large number of Illinois’ pedestrian fatalities occur within the city of Chicago. Just under 30% of all pedestrian fatalities throughout the state occurred in Chicago. Pedestrian fatalities throughout the city have risen by over 40% since 2013. Law enforcement officials believe that the increased number of pedestrian fatalities are due to increased traffic, drivers traveling over the speed limit, and a steady rise in distracted driving. 

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Seeking Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Plainfield pedestrian accident lawyer“Look both ways before you cross the street.” This is one of the first lessons one is taught in learning how to navigate the social world. Years later, when behind the wheel of an automobile, the paramount instruction is “keep both eyes on the road.” For both pedestrians and drivers, there is the ever-present need to comply with all traffic signs and rules of the road. 

Strangely, however, social norms enter the picture and erode the lessons and systems which have been put in place to maximize personal safety for all persons in the stream of traffic and everyday life. It becomes customary to drive a few miles over the speed limit, and fellow drivers often become aggressive and express frustration with those who simply wish to follow the precise speed limit. Crosswalks with clear “walk” and “stop” signals are often disregarded in favor of a quick jaywalk across the street. A school zone crosswalk or decreased speed limit is quietly ignored when no one appears to be within sight. 

When drivers and pedestrians commit these types of subtle breaches of laws, rules, and regulations, personal injuries become an all too real possibility. For people injured in pedestrian accidents, fortunately, the law is there to hold at-fault drivers responsible for disregarding the duty of safe driving and thereby causing harm to others.

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Distracted Walking Can Lead to Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

Plainfield pedestrian accident lawyer distracted walkingEveryone needs to get around, whether they travel by car, by train, by bus, or by foot. Unfortunately, the size and speed of motor vehicles make the roads a dangerous place for everyone who uses them. While many people know the dangers of texting and driving, they may not realize that texting or using a cell phone while walking can also be dangerous. Just as distracted driving greatly increases the likelihood of a car accident, distracted walking makes a pedestrian accident more likely.

Cell Phones and Distracted Walking

The cell phone has grown to become one of society’s biggest necessities, serving as one of the primary ways that people communicate with each other. The ease of sending text messages, looking up information, or performing any number of other activities has led people to use their phones in a wide variety of situations. However, paying attention to a cell phone often takes a person’s focus away from their surroundings. While this is especially dangerous when a person is in control of a vehicle, it can also result in a person being seriously injured or killed when they are on foot, since they may not be able to react in time if they are in danger.

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Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents During the Holidays

Plainfield winter pedestrian accident attorneyAs we enter the holiday season, the weather is about to get colder, and the roads may start to get snowy and icy. These conditions increase the risk of car accident injuries for everyone who uses the road, but pedestrians are often in the most danger during the winter season. In cold weather conditions, both drivers and pedestrians should take extra care to prevent potential pedestrian accidents.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

  • In 2015, more than 5,000 Americans were killed in pedestrian accidents. On average, one pedestrian was killed in an accident every 1.6 hours. 
  • In the same year, approximately 129,000 pedestrians were admitted into emergency rooms for injuries related to car accidents. 
  • Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those in a car at the time of the accident. 
  • People over the age of 65 accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian accident deaths and 13 percent of all injuries from pedestrian accidents in 2015. 
  • One in every five children under 15 years old who were killed in car accidents in 2015 were pedestrians. 
  • Drivers should be aware that driving at higher speeds increases the chances of a pedestrian being hit by a car and the potential of severe injuries or death. Pedestrian deaths are most likely to occur at night, in non-intersection locations, and in urban areas, so drivers should take care to watch for pedestrians in these situations.

How Pedestrians Can Avoid Accidents During the Holiday Season

During the holidays, pedestrians who are out shopping or attending holiday gatherings should be aware of the danger that winter weather can bring. In order to prevent an injury or death as a result of an accident, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street. Keep looking both ways until safely across.
  • Do not use a phone, headphones, or other technological devices when crossing the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or designated paths to avoid oncoming traffic. If there are no sidewalks available, walk as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Minor children must cross the street with a responsible adult.

Call a Plainfield Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact Flaherty Law. Attorney Daniel Flaherty has over 10 years of experience in personal injury law, and he will provide you with the legal representation you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call a Will County pedestrian accident lawyer at 815-577-7500 for a free initial consultation.

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Pedestrian Safety Tips for Avoid InjuryDrivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and may face criminal charges and civil liabilities if they hit a pedestrian. For pedestrians, the consequences of being struck by a vehicle are more serious than who was in the wrong. Knowing you are not at fault may be little consolation to you if you are injured in the incident. Pedestrians share an equal responsibility with drivers in preventing accidents from happening.

The Rules

There are laws detailing whether a pedestrian or a vehicle has the right-of-way. In some cases, the pedestrian must yield to a driver, though the driver must attempt to alert or avoid any pedestrian violating the law. Illinois law states that:

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