More and more Chicago residents are choosing to walk instead of drive. Most people agree that walking is healthier, and in many cases more enjoyable, but there are some hazards associated with walking. As you might guess, these hazards revolve around the motor vehicles pedestrians often encounter.
Recently, the Illinois Department of Transit released its 2015 Chicago crash data report, which looks troubling for pedestrians. The good news comes first with data revealing that the overall number of traffic fatalities had decreased significantly during the 12-year research period. This includes motor vehicle, cycle and auto-pedestrian accident fatalities.
Unfortunately, the actual percentage of auto-pedestrian accident fatalities has increased, according to data from the report. Below are a few troubling data points culled from the most-recent years of the data period.
— The percentage of pedestrians sharing the road in 2015 was 36.13 percent, marking a steady increase from 21.58 percent in 2010.
— Forty-three pedestrians died in traffic in 2015, while only 30 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2010.
— Bicycle fatalities increased from five to eight between 2010 and 2015.
— The percentage of bicyclists sharing the road in 2015 was 6.72 percent, increasing steadily from 3.6 percent in 2010.
What does this mean for Chicago cyclists and pedestrians? It means that it is more important than ever to be on the lookout for traffic hazards while traveling in and around the city. Instead of assuming that everyone is watching out for each other, assume that no one is watching out for you.
If you do become injured or a loved one is killed in an auto-pedestrian accident, consider using the legal system to hold the responsible party to account. A local personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process.
Source: Streets Blog, Chicago, “Even as Total Chicago Crash Fatalities Dropped, the Percentage of Pedestrian Deaths Grew,” John Greenfield and Steven Vance, May 01, 2017