Call Now:

(312) 609-0400

Call Us for Free Consultation

Call Now: (312) 609-0400

Close this search box.

Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise

Woman pedestrian hit by a car

or fill out the Contact Form

A preliminary report released by the Chicago Police Department shows that the number of pedestrian fatalities in the city rose by 31 percent in 2015. Forty-six pedestrians lost their lives after being struck by motor vehicles last year. This is up from 35 fatalities the previous year. The Illinois Department of Transportation will be releasing its official count later this year, but it is expected their report will be the same.

Woman pedestrian hit by a car

Between 2010 to 2014, the average number of pedestrian deaths for the month of January was two each year. However, in January 2015, seven pedestrian fatalities occurred in the city of Chicago. This year, the number of deaths fell to just two during the month of January.

Chicago Pedestrian Fatalities

For the three years prior to 2014 and 2015, the number of pedestrian fatalities in Chicago was as follows:

  • 2013 – 27
  • 2012 – 47
  • 2011 – 36

Not Just Chicago or the State of Illinois

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there was a 10 percent average increase in pedestrian fatalities across the country during the first half of 2015 in comparison to the same period in 2014. What is alarming though is that the state of Illinois saw an increase of 24 percent, with pedestrian deaths jumping from 55 in 2014 to 68 in 2015. This puts the state at the 16th highest increase in the country.

(Article continues below Infographic)

Pedestrian fatalities infographic

The GSHA report showed that most pedestrian fatalities occur in large states with large urban areas. In the first half of 2015, New York, Texas, California, and Florida accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrian fatalities now account for 15 percent of all crash-related deaths, whereas just a decade ago, that number was 11 percent according to GSHA data. According to Richard Retting, one of the report’s authors, “We are projecting the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian fatalities since national records have been kept, and therefore we are quite alarmed.”

Why the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths?

While automobiles are becoming safer with advanced technology, pedestrians do not have the benefit of the protection that a car provides. Therefore, they are naturally more vulnerable to severe injuries if they are struck by a vehicle because they are at a disadvantage.

Locally, Joe Schwieterman, of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University suggests that aggressive driving might be a cause of the rise in pedestrian deaths. Aggressive driving may include speeding, driving recklessly, or distractions such as loud music, cell phone use, or texting while driving.

More Walkers and Cyclists on the Streets

More people are choosing to take mass transit, walk or bike for various reasons including to help save the environment or to improve their physical fitness. Rail ridership increased to 241 million passengers in 2015. This increases the number of pedestrians who are walking and crossing streets to get to train stations.
There has been a 14 percent increase since 2010 in the number of people walking to work. People who ride bicycles to work have increased to 55 percent according to Chicago’s Department of Transportation American Community Survey. This is a trend that has been seen around the country with 4 million Americans claiming they walk to work and 860,000 saying they ride a bike to work in the 2013 Census.

The Courts and Lawsuits for Pedestrian Accidents

Under the law, when a pedestrian suffers an injury or fatality because of someone else’s negligence, he or his family may recover damages. To establish negligence, the Chicago personal injury attorney hired by the injured party or their family must prove that the person or entity (defendant) at fault:

  • Should have protected the injured party from a foreseeable risk and owed a legal duty to do
  • Failed in fulfilling that duty through their actions or inactions
  • Was responsible for the accident that injured the plaintiff
  • The plaintiff suffered an injury or died as a result

In the case of a pedestrian accident, there may be instances where the driver of the motor vehicle is not entirely at fault. There could be extenuating circumstances that include that the road, sidewalk or parking lot where the accident occurred was improperly maintained and led to the accident. The pedestrian who was injured or killed may have also contributed to the accident.

What is Duty of Care?

In a personal injury case involving a pedestrian fatality or injury, the personal injury attorney will investigate the duty of care exercised by both parties. For example, the driver should have been exercising reasonable care by observing the rules of the road and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. On the other hand, pedestrian is also responsible for exercising reasonable care by anticipating the consequences if they take an unacceptable risk that could contribute to the cause of their own injury.

Share This Article

As the founder of the firm, Neal has devoted his life to working for the worker. His achievements are numerous and beyond reproach. He is most proud of his work in helping clients obtain valuable benefits, such as a wheelchair ramp to his home or lifetime medical care.

or fill out the Contact Form

As the founder of the firm, Neal has devoted his life to working for the worker. His achievements are numerous and beyond reproach. He is most proud of his work in helping clients obtain valuable benefits, such as a wheelchair ramp to his home or lifetime medical care.

Related Articles

Your guide to understanding medical malpractice injuries

Do doctors and hospitals make mistakes? Yes, absolutely they do.  Doctors and hospitals commit errors all the time. But when does bad service or a bad outcome cross over into negligence giving rise to a potential medical malpractice lawsuit? Medical malpractice isn’t as cut and dry as many other personal

Wrongful Death Doctor talk and patient medical working at office. what is the statute of limitations for wrongful death
Personal Injury

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Illinois?

Illinois law provides a statute of limitations for wrongful death, which is a window of opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Failing to file your lawsuit within the recommended timeframe, which is two years in Illinois, has severe consequences.

Wrongful death word or concept represented by wooden letter tiles on a wooden table.
Personal Injury

When Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Illinois?

In Chicago, Illinois, only a personal representative can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit following the death of a loved one. A personal representative is usually someone named in the deceased’s will, like a spouse or child. But if there’s no will, the court can choose someone, like a parent or another close relative, who will have the legal right to sue.

Get a FREE Consultation:
We want to earn your business.

    Lawyers logos
    Lawyers logos