Fatal pedestrian accidents remain a significant traffic safety concern, both in Illinois as well as nationally. Various Kane County pedestrian accidents that have caused injuries or fatalities have been summarized in posts found under the “Pedestrian Accidents” category. As seen in these posts, numerous accidents involving a vehicle hitting a pedestrian have occurred in Elgin and Aurora; additionally, pedestrian crashes have occurred in Algonquin, Montgomery, Carpentersville, Geneva, and near Sugar Grove. Many of these accidents resulted in the pedestrian passing away from accident injuries.
Pedestrian accidents have many worrisome aspects. One aspect of pedestrian accidents that have occurred in the Chicago area is that many of the people who have been fatally struck by vehicles were, at the time of the accident, walking in crosswalks. Another problematical aspect is the typically severe nature of the injuries that occur during pedestrian accidents.
The injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents are typically severe in nature due to various reasons. Often, high physical forces are involved. These physical forces are typically applied to the pedestrian’s body in an unnatural way at the time of impact. The resulting injuries can lead to life-threatening adverse health conditions. In instances in which the pedestrian is fatally injured, the person can pass away either at the accident scene or the person can pass away at some later time.
Injuries that occur during a pedestrian crash range in type and severity. Some injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, will likely be temporary in nature, i.e. they will heal over time. Other, more serious injuries – those that may have lasting health implications (i.e. “permanent injuries”) – often occur. While these serious accident injuries can take many forms – and can effect many different areas of the body – trauma to the back, neck and spinal column, thoracic region, and head can cause temporary or permanent accident injuries and possibly disabilities.
If you are hit by a vehicle, it is advisable that you get a thorough medical examination as soon as possible. This medical examination is typically conducted in the hospital emergency room (ER) and may involve various tests and other evaluations. There are various reasons – both medical and legal – for this recommendation. In addition to getting proper medical treatment for injuries, there are various types of injuries that may not be readily apparent at the time of the crash – i.e. the symptoms might be what are considered “delayed onset” – meaning that there are no symptoms (such as pain or visible trauma) from the affected areas right after the accident. Various serious medical conditions, such as brain trauma (further discussed on the “Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Stemming From Kane County Accidents” page), internal bleeding, and soft tissue damage are some of the injuries that may not be readily apparent soon after the incident.
There has been a notable national increase in fatal pedestrian accidents. This trend is discussed in many sources, including the February 28, 2019 Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) news release titled “New Projection: 2018 Pedestrian Fatalities Highest Since 1990.”
An excerpt from the main report:
In recent years, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States has grown sharply. During the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 35 percent (from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017); meanwhile, the combined number of all other traffic deaths declined by six percent. Along with the increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities, pedestrian deaths as a percentage of total motor vehicle crash deaths increased from 12 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in 2017.
As seen in the news release, there are various reasons for the fatal pedestrian accident increase. These reasons include (with further discussion in the press release):
- more walking occurring
- nighttime pedestrian accidents on local roads
- various forms of unsafe driving (speeding, distracted driving, “drowsy driving,” and drunk driving)
- the prevalence of SUVs, which generally cause more severe pedestrian accident injuries
With regard to distracted driving as a reason for increased fatal pedestrian accidents, this continues to be a substantial traffic safety problem. Even a short moment of driver distraction can result in a serious crash. The subject of distracted driving, including various statistics and why it is likely to lead to a loss of vehicle control, is further discussed on the “Distracted Driving Accidents And Their Frequency And Causes” page.
Another factor that has been cited with regard to pedestrian accidents is what has been called “distracted walking.” While there are various reasons as to why someone may be distracted while walking, texting and other forms of cellphone and smartphone use is a main reason.
Also seen in the report was the projected number of Illinois fatal pedestrian accidents. As seen in the March 1, 2019 Darien Patch article titled “More Pedestrians Died On Illinois Roads In 2018: Report“:
In Illinois, 80 pedestrians were killed on roads during the first half of 2018, the report projects. That’s a 19 percent increase compared to the first half of 2017, when 67 people were killed.
Additional discussion regarding Kane County pedestrian accidents – including medical and legal steps to take if have been hit by a car or other vehicle – can be seen on the “Kane County, Illinois Pedestrian Accidents And Injuries” page.