Chicago proves dangerous for pedestrians

In 2013, Cook County was the location of 53 pedestrian fatalities. Statewide, 125 pedestrians died that year.

A scan of records provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows all too clearly the dangers that pedestrians in Chicago face. In 2013, there were 125 pedestrian fatalities, 53 of which occurred in Cook County. Winnebago County had the second highest number of pedestrian deaths with 11. Lake and Stark Counties each experienced eight such fatalities.

Cook County's high pedestrian death count is sadly not new. Further statistics include the following:

  • In 2012, a total of 270 people died in all motor vehicle accidents; pedestrians represented 79 of those deaths.
  • In 2011, a total of 234 people died in all motor vehicle accidents; pedestrians represented 58 of those deaths.
  • In 2010, a total of 236 people died in all motor vehicle accidents; pedestrians represented 52 of those deaths.
  • In 2009, a total of 264 people died in all motor vehicle accidents; pedestrians represented 53 of those deaths.

The 53 pedestrian deaths in 2013 were out of a total of 251 total vehicular fatalities in the county.

Typical pedestrian accidents

There can likely be no definition of a typical pedestrian accident. They can occur while a person is walking through a parking lot, tending to a disabled vehicle on the side of a road or crossing a street. These accidents can be caused by drivers who are drunk, distracted, fatigued or more.

One example is that of a 52-year old man who was killed after being struck by a speeding motorcyclist according to the Chicago Tribune. Accident reconstruction indicates the bike continued travelling for over 700 feet after hitting the man. The motorcyclist also died in the crash.

ABC7Chicago.com tells of a two-year-old girl who suffered brain trauma and may possibly lose her leg after an accident involving a tractor-trailer. She and her mother were trapped underneath the truck after it struck them head-on. The mother's injuries are reported to be life-threatening. The two were in a pedestrian crosswalk at the time. The driver has been cited.

The Chicago Tribune indicates that a 36-year old woman lost her life after a bizarre crash in which she was hit not by one but two vehicles. A passenger car struck the woman and never stopped. That car or driver has yet to be found. The subsequent vehicle-a Chicago Transit Authority bus-then also hit the woman. The mother of two was in a crosswalk at the time of the accident. The CTA recently agreed to an out-of-court settlement in which the victim's family will receive $4.3 million.

What can be done?

It is unclear how Chicago streets can be made safer for pedestrians. But, what is known is that all victims and loved ones deserve compensation after these tragic accidents. Contacting a lawyer promptly is always recommended.