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Despite Overall Decline, Pedestrian Fatalities Remain High

Posted on in Pedestrian Accidents

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.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a pedestrian in an accident at which you were not at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney today

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