Chicago pedestrians at risk of being injured in traffic accidents

June may be drawing to a close, but safety is an issue that will always be relevant. Because of this, the National Safety Council has designated June as National Safety Month. A variety of topics pertaining to summer safety will be addressed during this campaign, not the least of which are certain types of traffic accidents.

The third and fourth week in June, respectively, focus on being aware of your surroundings and ending distractions while driving. Both of these aspects are crucial for drivers to avoid injuring others. They are especially relevant when pedestrians enter the picture. Anyone is at risk of being injured or killed when walking along the roadway, especially in certain areas, says Smart Growth America. The most dangerous roads include major city areas and places where roads have not been fully developed for pedestrian traffic. These areas also frequently have high rates of speed, increasing the chances a person hit by a car will sustain serious injuries.

Pedestrian death rate at a record high

Accidents involving pedestrians made up nearly 15 percent of all traffic deaths in 2012; today, pedestrian accidents are at a five-year high. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 139 pedestrians in the state were killed in accidents in 2012 alone, while 4,665 more were injured.

While anyone walking along a roadway can be injured by passing traffic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that certain types of pedestrians are more at risk than others. These include:

  • Children, who may dart out into traffic without fully realizing the dangers.
  • Senior citizens, who often choose to walk instead of drive as they get older.
  • Alcohol-impaired pedestrians who walk home rather than get behind the wheel impaired.

Other people who frequently work near roadways are classified as pedestrians and can be at an increased risk of getting hit by cars. These include police officers and construction workers. This appeared to be the case during an accident in May, when a woman was hit by a truck on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago as she walked down the ramp, reported CBS Chicago. Authorities believed she was a road worker, and fortunately her injuries appeared to be minor. This is often not the case when people are struck by large trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association says that despite efforts in many communities to make roads safer for people walking along them, thousands of pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents throughout the country each year.

Contacting an attorney

Being hit by a car usually results in serious injuries that can take months of recovery time. If you've been affected in a pedestrian accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.