Living in an urban area has its perks. There are a great number of banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants, and almost everything you need is within walking distance. According to The Chicago Tribune, however, city crosswalks are not as safe for some people as they are for others. A recent study by Transportation for America points out that, though only 13 percent of the national population, senior citizens represented 22 percent of pedestrian accident deaths from 2000 through 2009. Chicago seems to follow this trend.
According to a pedestrian accident analysis conducted by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), senior citizens were more likely of being hit while in a crosswalk than other age groups. The review of pedestrian accidents between 2005 and 2009 also demonstrated an overrepresentation of senior citizens in serious injury or fatal accidents. In fact, in 2009, out of the 34 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, seven were senior citizens.
The overall numbers of pedestrian accidents in Chicago have decreased, but CDOT officials still believe the numbers are too high. In an effort to decrease pedestrian fatality numbers even more, CDOT is developing a pedestrian program, which, among other goals, will scrutinize the timing of walking signals, and whether senior citizens have enough time to make it from one end of the crosswalk to the other, safely. Adding a few more seconds could make a big difference. Some intersections (40-50) already give pedestrians a few seconds extra as a head start before drivers are given the green light. CDOT officials may be implementing that system in more intersections.
Chicago is doing the right thing in assessing the potential dangers the city’s intersections pose to pedestrians. This is only one part of the puzzle, however. Drivers are also responsible for pedestrians’ safety. An inattentive or distracted driver may be held liable for injuries should their negligence cause a pedestrian injury accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Illinois, the skilled pedestrian accident lawyers in Chicago at The Bradley Law Firm can help you hold the negligent party responsible for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses and damages associated with your injury. Contact us today at 312-252-1488 to learn more about your legal rights and options.