crosswalk with pedestrians

Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

According to government data, nationwide traffic fatalities involving pedestrians went up by 2% in the first nine months of 2022. In 2021, Illinois reported a total of 3,738 pedestrian crashes, 213 of which involved fatalities and 852 incapacitating injuries. 

Traffic data for the city of Chicago showed a total of 2,045 accidents involving pedestrians in 2021. These accidents resulted in 56 fatalities and 2,068 injuries of varying degrees of severity.

In a big, bustling city, pedestrians are vulnerable to vehicles of every shape and size. They must be on guard for motorcycles, buses, Ubers, delivery trucks, huge SUVs, and commercial trucks, among others. Plus, both drivers and pedestrians are often distracted by the vast number of devices available in our digital age.  

The bottom line is that it can be extremely dangerous on Chicago streets for pedestrians. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s smart to call an experienced accident attorney for advice.

Although there can be many causes of pedestrian accidents, certain fact patterns may result in accidents more frequently. 

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Speeding, distracted driving, and a driver or pedestrian under the influence of alcohol are some of the main causes of pedestrian accidents.

Not surprisingly, driving too fast will increase not only the chances of hitting a pedestrian but can increase the severity of any injury as well. Even if the driver is going the speed limit it could be too fast if the weather or road conditions are not optimal.  

Distracted driving refers to more than talking and texting on a phone. Drivers can be distracted by eating or drinking, adjusting a dial on the dashboard, conversing with passengers, a pet—basically anything that diverts their complete attention from the road. 

In 2019, alcohol consumption by the driver or the pedestrian was involved in 46% of the country’s traffic accidents that resulted in a pedestrian fatality. Specifically, 13%  involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent and 32% involved a pedestrian with a BAC of at least 0.08 percent. 2020 data had similar numbers, with a high BAC for the driver and/or pedestrian reported in 47 % of U.S. fatal pedestrian crashes.  

Pedestrian Vigilance and Compliance can Help with Prevention

It is important that pedestrians follow the laws and act with due care when engaging with traffic. They should always pay attention and take proactive steps to maximize their visibility when necessary. This means avoiding distracted walking. Don’t look at your phone while walking and if you listen to music, keep the volume low enough to hear what’s going on around you.

Pedestrians should follow the signals at intersections and use the crosswalks. When walking on the side of the road, pedestrians should face traffic and stay as far back from the road as possible. When in parking lots and parking garages, pedestrians should be aware of cars that may not see them. 

Consult with a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney 

A pedestrian involved in an accident with a vehicle may often suffer a serious injury. If the accident wasn’t the pedestrian’s fault, they may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.  An experienced accident attorney will assess your case and walk you through the steps to take to achieve the best possible outcome.