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Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are more than 200 people killed every year and another 17,000 injured in backover accidents. Backover accidents occur when a driver is backing up their vehicle and strikes an object they did not see, usually because of a blind zone in the vehicle. The popularity of SUVs and trucks – which are notorious for having blind zones - has only increased the number of backover accidents. Sixty percent of these incidents involve these types of vehicles.

Children are especially vulnerable to backover accidents. Every week, there are at least 50 children who are struck by a vehicle backing up. Tragically, two of those young victims will die from their injuries. Even more tragic is that in 70 percent of these accidents, the driver of the vehicle is a parent or other close relative of the child.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that by May 2018, all new vehicles which are under 10,000 will be required to have rear visibility technology. The new regulation requires that a vehicle’s field of view must include a 10 by 20 foot zone directly behind it. The agency also has included other system requirements, such as deactivation, durability, image size, linger time, and response time.

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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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Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois car accident attorney, Illinois wrongful death lawyer, There is more to a pedestrian accident than simple negligence on either the part of the pedestrian or the driver. Some types of pedestrian accidents are often overlooked and considered a driving problem; it can be easy for a pedestrian to forget that he or she is just as responsible for street safety as other types road users. This is particularly true in large cities such as Chicago where a great number of people use pedestrian throughways.  The City of Chicago counts pedestrian accidents as any that involve a motor vehicle in which a pedestrian was the first point of contact with the vehicle.

The number of pedestrian accidents has decreased dramatically in recent years in Chicago, according to the City of Chicago. In 2009, there were only 3,130 pedestrian crashes, representing a nine-year low. One major type of pedestrian crash is one that involves alcohol. According to National Traffic and Safety Administration statistics, though it is not technically illegal, alcohol impairment could be as serious as a problem for walkers as it is for drivers. Like the overall number of pedestrian accidents, these have declined in recent years. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas much more frequently than rural, but only in number. A staggering 25 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur in rural areas where vehicle speeds are higher than on city streets. This is something to pay special attention to on the suburban outskirts of major cities like Chicago.

There are several types of pedestrian safety programs that the city of Chicago administers. Several of these involve Chicago Police Department or the Chicago Department of Transportation. The Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Council meets four times a year to act as an interdisciplinary body of stakeholder groups and local, state, and federal representatives on pedestrian safety. Another group is the Safe Routes for Seniors programs, which conducts safety presentations that address the unique pedestrian needs of the elderly. Other safety initiatives are more concrete: such as the countdown timers that were installed on nearly 50 percent of signalized intersections in Chicago by the end of summer 2011. Another concrete initiative are refuge islands and curb extensions, which allow pedestrians more walkway space on otherwise difficult to cross streets.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury attorney, Illinois car accident attorney, Illinois pedestrian accident attorney, wrongful death,Despite both nationwide and statewide policies meant to curb the number of pedestrian deaths, pedestrian accidents remain a serious and grave traffic safety issue. In 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 76,000 were injured. This means that a pedestrian was killed every two hours and a person injured every seven minutes in accidents involving motor vehicles. For these purposes, the NHTSA defines a pedestrian as anyone who is outside of a motor vehicle at the time of crash, though incidents that occurred on private property—including parking lots and driveways—were not included for the purposes of these statistics.

Older pedestrians were the most likely to be killed in an accident with a motor vehicle in 2012: older pedestrians accounted for 20 percent of all pedestrian fatalities that year. Children aged 15 and younger, conversely, accounted for only 6 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Bad weather did not affect the likelihood of a pedestrian accident, but the time of day did: nearly 70 percent of all pedestrian accidents occurred at night.

According to the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, pedestrians are most often at fault for these accidents. Jaywalking is the most common kind of unsafe pedestrian behavior that results in accidents with motor vehicles. Jaywalking can be defined as: walking when the pedestrian walk signal says not to, crossing a street without a crosswalk, and walking on a street with traffic flow instead of on a sidewalk, where one is designated. Jaywalking is most often thought to be an urban issue, in large cities such as Chicago.

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