At this time of year, many people venture outside. Whether it involves exercising outdoors, or just taking a stroll to enjoy the weather, foot traffic is sure to increase everywhere as the weather warms. Although there are specific safety precautions in place for pedestrians to follow, many walkers do not necessarily follow them. However, a recent article demonstrated the importance of pedestrian safety, as walkers are generally the most vulnerable users of roadways across the country.
Back in 2011, there were over 4,000 pedestrian fatalities and approximately 69,000 pedestrian injuries suffered as a result of car crashes in the United States. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this amounted to a pedestrian being killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in motor vehicle accidents.
In Illinois, 110 traffic accidents involving pedestrians were fatal in 2010. Out of that group, 75 percent happened in an urban area. In addition, two out of three did not occur at an intersection and half of the pedestrian fatalities happened on the weekend. Members of law enforcement reported that most pedestrian related accidents do not occur at crosswalks, but rather are more likely on side streets, alleys, or the middle of a street block as opposed to the intersection.
Making the Road Safer for Pedestrians
Many local cities are taking steps to make roadways safer for pedestrians, as the busy outdoor season is fast approaching. One example of such a safety measure is installing countdown signals on traffic lights at intersections in areas that get the most foot traffic, and eventually expanding the signals throughout a city. The signals allow pedestrians to view how much time they have before the signals change, as well as informing them how much time they have to cross the street.
Other areas are taking advantage of available grants to install new pedestrian lights, signs, and signals on the streets. The project will also include repainting crosswalks on a regular basis to ensure areas are freshly painted and visible.
Pedestrians Most at Risk
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), statistics show that male pedestrians are more likely to be killed than females in traffic accidents. The CDC also reported that teens and young adults in the 15 to 29 age range are more likely to be injured and treated in a hospital emergency room.
There are identified correlations between the rate of pedestrian deaths and age, and also a link between pedestrian fatalities and alcohol use. In fact, CDC information from 2010 revealed that one third of pedestrians who were fatally injured in car crashes were legally intoxicated. Information also shows that, when hit by a car traveling at five to 15 miles per hour, the chance of a pedestrian being struck and killed is very low. This emphasizes the need for drivers to be extra cautious and reduce their speed when traveling around pedestrians.If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident as a pedestrian, an experienced personal injury and accident attorney can listen to the facts of your case and advise you of your rights. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC today and schedule a consultation. We serve clients in the northern Illinois area.
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