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Rolling Meadows Personal Injury AttorneyOctober is National Pedestrian Safety Month, and public safety officials are taking this time to highlight the dangers that pedestrians face as they use the roads. Pedestrian accidents can be incredibly harmful, since a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds can inflict serious bodily harm on a person, even if the vehicle is traveling at low speeds. In many cases, pedestrian accidents and injuries are caused by drivers who violate traffic laws or otherwise act negligently. Victims of these types of accidents can get legal help from an attorney as they seek financial compensation from a driver who struck them, ensuring that the driver will be held responsible for their actions and that the victim and their family will be able to meet their needs as they recover from their injuries.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Over the past 10 years, pedestrian fatalities have increased significantly. The initial analysis of data from 2020 indicates that the total number of pedestrian accident injuries decreased from the previous year. However, the amount of traffic on the roads also decreased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rate of pedestrian fatalities for each mile traveled by vehicles throughout the United States actually increased by 20 percent. Studies of data from 2020 also found that:

  • Pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur at night, and 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities took place after dark. This is an increasing concern in the fall and winter, especially after the end of Daylight Savings Time. Pedestrians who use the roads in the evenings face significant risks, especially if drivers fail to pay close attention to the road or drive while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.

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Arlington Heights pedestrian accident attorneysWinters in Illinois can be harsh, and in addition to dealing with cold temperatures, people will also need to be aware of how weather conditions can affect their safety. Snow, ice, sleet, and slush on roads, driveways, sidewalks, and walking surfaces can make pedestrian accidents more likely, and those who have suffered injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle while on foot will want to understand who was responsible and how they can receive compensation for their damages.

Winter Pedestrian Accident Liability

In many cases, accidents in which pedestrians are struck by vehicles occur due to the negligence of drivers. During any type of weather, drivers should be sure to notice pedestrians who are walking near the road or crossing the street, and they should always drive safely and give themselves plenty of room to slow down or respond to sudden, unexpected movements by people on foot. During the winter, drivers should take extra precautions to avoid pedestrian accidents, including reducing their speed, keeping their vehicles maintained, and paying close attention to pedestrians and the conditions on the road.

Victims of pedestrian accidents may be able to recover compensation from a negligent driver who did not take the proper measures to prevent a collision. For example, a driver may not have accounted for reduced visibility during a snowstorm by slowing down, using their headlights, or ensuring that their vehicle was clear from the accumulation of snow on the windshield. In other situations, a driver may not have taken the proper steps to make sure their vehicle was safe to drive in the winter, such as by failing to replace worn tires or keep tires properly inflated. Other forms of driver negligence that can be especially dangerous in the winter include distracted driving and drunk driving.

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Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney pedestrian accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), research shows an unfortunate uptick in the number of pedestrian accident deaths on America’s roadways in recent years. In the year 2018, our nation saw the highest rate of such fatalities since 1990 -- a 3.4 percent jump since 2017, which averaged out to one pedestrian death every 84 minutes. While this data highlights extreme cases, even minor injuries incurred by pedestrians due to negligent drivers can be costly, painful, and life-altering, depending on the nature of the injury.

Which Issues Pose the Biggest Threats?

Considering trends in increasing incidents of pedestrian injury, it is worth taking a look at the conditions and factors that are most often responsible for these accidents. Compiled data from the NHTSA reveals that all of the following factors make a significant difference in a pedestrian’s safety when he or she is en route to a destination:

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Schaumburg personal injury attorney pedestrian accident

Pedestrians are severely injured too frequently on Illinois roadways. While this typically occurs in a city setting, stay-at-home orders have made many people more inclined to escape the confines of their home, even for a little while, by going for a walk around the block. As Illinois moves into its fourth stage of reopening, there will be many more cars on the road, which can pose a greater risk to runners, walkers, and bikers. Restaurants and stores may be reopening, but many companies still have their employees working remotely to avoid further spread of COVID-19. With an increase in cars and a consistent stream of pedestrian traffic, it is important to stay vigilant while walking to avoid suffering from life-altering injuries as a result of a serious car accident. Even if you follow the below safety tips, a reckless driver may be responsible for your pedestrian accident. 

Safety First

The following tips are compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center to keep you safe while exercising:

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Schaumburg pedestrian accident attorney

Despite the many stay-at-home orders that have been enforced throughout the country and the noticeable decrease in traffic flow in recent weeks, there are still many drivers out and about on the roadways. This can lead to incidents of car accidents with injuries, regardless of the changes in our day-to-day routines. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable right now, especially as more and more people are choosing to walk outdoors to cope with the effects of isolation from being indoors more than usual. With open, less congested roadways, many drivers who are venturing out are taking liberties they may not normally take, such as pushing the speed limit or ignoring other rules of the road. Reckless driving behavior can lead to dangerous pedestrian accidents with debilitating consequences for the victim. The following safety precautions can help decrease the chances of an injury on foot, but a pedestrian who is hurt should always seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney when pursuing compensation for any damages.   

Protecting Yourself When Commuting by Foot

Whether you are one of the many people attempting to get outside more often in order to combat boredom, isolation, or simply for exercise, you are still at risk for a pedestrian accident and injury, even with fewer drivers on the roadways. It is important to keep your guard up and remain on the lookout for potential hazards, including negligent drivers. To increase your chances of avoiding injury, be a proactive pedestrian by practicing the below tips:

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