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Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Pedestrians are already at a high risk of mortality when involved in an automobile accident, but a recent study suggests that wheelchair users are especially vulnerable. This new information encourages drivers to be more aware of pedestrians in wheelchairs. It also highlights the need for added diligence in creating safer areas for all pedestrians.

The Devastating Statistics for All Pedestrians

In the United States, nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed in automobile accidents each year. Another 76,250 are injured each year on roadways. They are especially vulnerable when weather conditions become hazardous, and when distracted drivers fail to pay close attention to the non-vehicle members out and about each day.

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Posted on in Pedestrian Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois pedestrian accident lawyer,Media and the Internet have saturated the public about the dangers of distracted driving, particularly the perils of texting and driving. This law firm has published many blog posts regarding the deadly dangers these behaviors can result in. However, there is growing concern about the dangers of distracted walking, especially among young people. And now a new government report has revealed that pedestrian fatalities are again on the increase, leading many to believe that the cause of this increase is due in part to “petextrians” – people who text while walking.

The report was prepared by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). According to national statistics, pedestrian fatalities showed a steady decline over the past four decades. By the 2000s, just over 10 percent of motor vehicle deaths in this country were pedestrian deaths. However, over the past five years, a steady increase has begun, to the tune of 15 percent. In 2013, approximately 4,700 motor vehicle accident deaths were pedestrians. That means that every two hours, a pedestrian is killed.

The report found that an increase in the number of people who use their cell phones while walking. In fact, that number has doubled since the year 2005. Activities many pedestrians engage in are talking on the phone, texting, or listening to music with headphones on. Unfortunately, these activities leave many people not fully aware of their surroundings, with many petextrians ignoring traffic signals or forgetting to look both ways while crossing the street.

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In all major metropolises, like Chicago, where pedestrians share the road with cars, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, and bicycles, there are bound to be more pedestrian accidents than in areas in which the vast majority of people are in vehicles. Chicago, in fact, has several organizations and safety groups meant to aid pedestrians who have been injured, and to help raise awareness about pedestrian safety and driver responsibility. These kinds of initiatives seem to be working, not just in Chicago, but across the nation. According to a recent National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the number of pedestrian fatalities declined last year by nearly 2 percent. The year on record with the least number of pedestrian fatalities remains 2009, but every year that the number continues to decline, even slightly, is a success.

The NHTSA has done several studies to determine how to continue to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. One of the most telling findings has to do with the speed at which the car in question was driving. As one may suspect, the faster the car is driving, the most likely it is that the pedestrian will be injured or even killed. If a car, for example, is driving at 58 mph, a pedestrian has a 90 percent chance of being killed. A pedestrian has a 90 percent chance of severe injury if that same car is going 46 mph.

Public outreach was identified as one of the best ways to continue to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. One such initiatives in Chicago in recent years was the ramped up enforcement of a crosswalk law. The law requires all cars to stop at a crosswalk, not just yield, for pedestrians. The law took effect in 2010, but as of 2012, according to reports, it was not effecting much change. Drivers are reticent to adapt to new laws such as this, though the incentive to avoid high fines that accompany breaking such a law could help to continue to make it one that is more widely followed. In Chicago, drivers can be fined up to $500 for not stopping for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

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carA City of Chicago Department of Transportation report shows that Chicago children were the most likely pedestrians to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. High school-age children, ages 15 to 18, had the highest rate of pedestrian accidents, and elementary-age children (five to 14 years) had the second highest crash rate.

While seniors were the second least likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash, the proportion of seniors who were killed in such accidents was higher than other age groups. Frailty and likelihood to be suffering from other debilitating conditions was a probable cause for these disproportionate figures. Seniors were involved in 6.2 percent of pedestrian crashes while they were involved in 9.5 percent of all fatal crashes in the City of Chicago.

The number of pedestrian crashes involving children has decreased in recent years, however. Between the years of 2005 and 2009, “the annual number of pedestrian crashes involving five to 18-year-olds decreased by 28 percent,” from 964 in 2005 to 698 in 2009.

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Chicago pedestrian accident attorney, Chicago pedestrian injury attorneys, pedestrian deaths, pedestrian fatalities, pedestrians killed, Chicago pedestriansMajor cities always have more pedestrian accidents than suburbs or rural communities. This, of course, is for obvious reasons: the greater the number of people walking around a busy or congested traffic area, the greater the number of occurring accidents.

In recent years, several major cities across the country have taken serious measures to bring the number of accidents involving pedestrians way down, though it does not necessarily seem to be working.

As reported by the New York Daily News, pedestrian deaths from motor vehicles are on the uptick in New York City. And noted in a report issued in January by the New York Police Department, there could be an estimated 200 pedestrian deaths caused by motor vehicles in New York by the end of 2014. Different police statistics show that this is a significant increase from the 156 pedestrian fatalities in 2013, the 152 reported in 2012, or the 142 reported in 2011.

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