Pedestrian Accidents

Eliminating Car and Ped Traffic Accidents

What do you call an accident where a car strikes a pedestrian? Is it a car accident or a pedestrian accident. When urban planners and mayors set out to eliminate traffic deaths, who do they target?

First they examined the statistics and found that the number of traffic fatalities caused by car accidents attributable to speeding was 33,808 in 2013. Latest data available in the United States show pedestrian fatalities caused by a car accident at 4,473. The highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities occurred in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston and LosAngeles.

90 percent of all pedestrians killed were in a single car accident and 19% are killed by hit and run drivers. 73% of car accidents causing the death of a pedestrian were in urban areas with 70% of fatalities occurring at non-intersections.

More than a third (37%) of pedestrian killed, and 1 in 8 (13%) of the drivers had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 g/dl or higher, the illegal limit in every State.

Car accidents resulting in the death of a pedestrian continue to increase by a solid 3% per year. So what were the conclusions reached?

The obvious: pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently and in addition, often used cell phones and ear phones while walking and driving!

Simply put, there is no one target in the quest to prevent car accidents and pedestrian fatalities. Numerous urban proposals and projects now involve shared responsibilities among drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, traffic enforcers and street designers, all of whom must change behaviors and attitudes.

Slowing traffic may be the most immediately effective measure for pedestrian and safety as well as in the prevention of all car accidents. When struck by a vehicle going 40 miles an hour, pedestrian has an 85 percent chance of dying and a higher chance of sustaining chance of sustaining a serious injury such as brain trauma. This compares with a 45 percent chance when struck at 30 miles per hour. Every 5 mph increment makes a huge difference in the pedestrian’s or driver’s ability to avoid the accident, serious injury or fatality.

Drivers tend to go as fast as conditions allow. There are many design strategies, called “traffic calming measures”, that force drivers to slow down. These measures are self-regulatory and may deter drivers off roads heavily used by pedestrians. For example, speed bumps, textured pavement and raised crosswalks remind a driver of his speed and cause him to slow.
Roundabouts are equally effective but often cause confusion for all parties.

I personally love the signs that flash the speeds of passing cars. I’ve never seen it fail to cause everyone to hit the brakes!

The Federal Highway Administration lists many measures that, in additions to slowing traffic, can render pedestrians and cyclist more visible and street crossings safer. The pedestrian bridge is great but not always feasible but an alternative on a wide street could be the installation of mid-crossing pedestrian islands.

The unavoidable take-away is that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists all share responsibility for safety. Peds and cycists can wear reflective gear, Drivers and cyclists can slow down, no one should drive, walk or cycle distracted, all must keep vigilant, follow traffic laws and signals-they serve to keep everyone in their own lane. Don’t depend on the other guy to follow the rules-you may have the right of way but it’s no fun to explain that to a police office from your hospital bed. It is always better to stay safe than to call Grazian and Volpe for assistance in obtaining compensation for your injuries. But if you can’t stay safe stay with Chicago’s most trusted and experienced personal injury lawyers for over 30 years.

Older Pedestrians Need Our Care

41 million Americans are 65 or older. They are enjoying active and healthier lifestyles achieved often through the simple act of walking. Walking increases bone and muscle strength, mobility, agility and independence. It helps to prevent, delay and control chronic illness and fosters social interactions and better quality of life.

However, walking, for all its benefits, presents a risk to older pedestrians that could be preventable.

The December issue of AARP Bulletin noted that people 65 and older make up 13 percent of the population but account for a disproportionate share of pedestrian deaths. This population also sustains more severe injuries than other demographics when hit by a car or bicycle.

Many factors increase the risk for older pedestrians. They may not see or hear as well, think as clearly or move as fast as they once did. Some may fail to make appropriate accommodations for these declines.

Reckless drivers and cyclists may be equally culpable in the rising incidence of older pedestrian injuries. Drivers and cyclists may be dismissive of the capabilities of older pedestrians by trying to turn around a slow pedestrian in a cross walk or speeding around corners where older pedestrians are attempting to cross.

Until recently, most communities were built for easy vehicular access, not pedestrian safety. Wide two-way streets, often with multiple lanes can make it impossible for an older person to cross in one light.

Drivers and cyclists alike need to be aware of the special considerations of older pedestrian. Aggressive movement cannot be accommodated by older pedestrians and it is the duty of the driver or cyclist to make appropriate adjustments.

Older pedestrians can protect themselves by:

1) Wearing reflective and light clothing
2) Be aware of cyclists as a danger-older pedestrians often don’t look for cyclists
3) Heed the traffic light count-down
4) Enlist the help of other pedestrians to assure safe passage
5) Time your walk across frequently used streets and refrain from stepping off the curb unless there’s enough time left to reach the other side safely
6) I can’t recommend this strategy but many of our older clients state that they prefer to cross in the middle of a block where they can see traffic from both directions and do not need to worry about turning cars.

Walking is a basic need and right of life. Let’s try to make walking safe and enjoyable for older pedestrians.

Why Young Children Run in Front of Cars

As warmer weather approaches, parents brace for the advent of outdoor play and the dangers associated with young children running in parks and neighborhoods located in areas surrounded by local streets. The increase in the number of car and pedestrian accidents involving children is an unwelcome and tragic feature of summers in Chicago.

The lawyers at Grazian and Volpe dread the inevitable and tragic calls we receive from parents when their child has darted out from between two cars or neglected to heed a street sign when engaged in a game or chasing a friend.

More than 13,000 children, ages 5 to 9 are struck and injured by cars while crossing the street in the U.S. every year according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. A recent study sought to determine why children are so vulnerable. Researchers at the University of Idaho compared traffic-detection skills in 35 adults ages 19 to 50 and 50 children ages 6 to 9.  Participants listened on headphones to 24 recordings of a car approaching at 5, 12 and 25 miles per hour, from both directions, and pressed a computer key when they detected the vehicle, identified its direction and thought it had arrived at their location.

The results were stunning. Adults detected the car significantly earlier than children, though 8 and 9 years old heard the car before 6 and 7 years. Adults detected the vehicle traveling at 5 miles per hour at a distance of about 48 feet compared with 3 feet for younger children and 41 feet for older children.

The accident lawyers at Grazian and Volpe hope this new study is informative in helping to prevent car accidents involving children. Adult drivers should be aware that children simply lack the perceptual skills to interpret important pedestrian safety cues and never assume that a child is aware of a presence of a moving car.

It is always better to stay safe and prevent accidents but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicago’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.

Pedestrian Accidents with Cabdrivers: Report Reckless Taxis to 311

Pedestrian Accidents with Cabdrivers; Everyone Should Report Reckless Cabbies by dialing 311

Cabdrivers were involved in 28 percent of pedestrian crashes finds a study commissioned by the City Department Transportation. Commissioner Gabe Klein said in a Chicago Tribune article of August 15, 2011 that the majority of taxi drivers in Chicago pose a public safety menace. He has vowed to implement strict reforms with the help of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which regulates the taxi industry. Pedestrians and other drivers can help by calling 311 to report reckless cab drivers.  Any cab driver receiving three or more complaints will be investigated.

While these reforms are welcomed, the attorneys at Grazian and Volpe know that pedestrian behavior is a key to preventing pedestrian-vehicle crashes.  Most accidents are caused by drivers failing to yield to pedestrians despite laws and traffic signals requiring them to do so.  We know from our more than 25 years advocating for injured pedestrians that the pedestrian sustains the greatest personal injuries-regardless of whether or not they were obeying the laws and signals. We caution all our clients to be mindful of all traffic signals and laws to stay safe and avoid injury and hope that more will report reckless cab driver behavior to 311 to help the City of Chicago in its quest to keep pedestrians safe.

Chicago Pedestrians: Most Accidents Occur in Crosswalks

Chicago Pedestrians: Most Personal Injuries Occur in Crosswalks

About 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian accidents in Chicago occur at intersections or within 125 feet and commonly involved people crossing the street with the walk signal.

Vehicle-pedestrian accidents have consistently numbered about 3,000 a year in Chicago and between 2005 and 2009 there were 17, 487 crashes involving 18, 377 pedestrians.  It is alarming to discover that the majority of these pedestrian-vehicle accidents occur inside the presumed haven of crosswalks where turning drivers are failing to yield to the crossing pedestrians.

In 2010 an Illinois State Law changed the previous law stating that drivers must yield to pedestrians and stop when necessary. Now the law states that a driver must yield and stop when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.

The new law coupled with the results of the Chicago traffic study has prompted increased police enforcement of the new law as well as new traffic technology.

Your South Chicago Accident lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have advocated for hundreds of injured pedestrian victims during the last 25 years. We know that pedestrians ages 15-18 represent the biggest number of crash victims and caution our clients and their children to obey all traffic signals and laws and especially to remain vigilant by never trusting the driver of any motor vehicle to see or yield to them.  Above all, stay safe and if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, personal injury lawyers of Chicago for over 25 years.

Majority of Chicago Pedestrian Accidents Involve Teens

Majority Chicago Pedestrian Accidents Involve Teens:

Pedestrians were involved in 2,943 accidents with vehicles in Chicago resulting in 32 pedestrian fatalities and 409 serious injuries states the Illinois Department of Transportations provisional numbers of 2010.  A troubling finding of a study commissioned by the Chicago Department of Transportation indicates that an average of two hit and run pedestrian crashes resulting in death or injury occur in Chicago every day! Hit -and runs account for 33 percent of vehicle-pedestrian collisions and 41 percent of those that are fatal-double the national average.

Most alarming was the spike seen in the number of teens involved in pedestrian-vehicle accidents. Pedestrians ages 15-18 represent the biggest segment of crash victims, the study found.  Kiersten Grove, CDOT’s pedestrian safety coordinator stated in an interview with the Chicago Tribune that the large number of teen-age pedestrian accident victims was “a surprise we didn’t expect, and it tells (the City of Chicago) that ” improvement is needed in “the type of outreach we are doing to teens on pedestrian safety.”

Individual accident reports showed that young people are more likely than adults not to use crosswalks and that a large number of the crashes involving teens occurred on the West and South sides of Chicago, primarily in the Austin, Chicago Lawn and Auburn Gresham neighborhoods.

The South Chicago Accident Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe ask all pedestrians and parents of pedestrians to learn and obey all traffic laws and signals and to educate children and teen- agers to do the same. Children and teen-agers often think they are invincible and do not appreciate the dangers of motor vehicles.  Our 25 years of experience as Chicago personal injury lawyers have taught us that personal injury is often avoidable where caution and obeisance to traffic signals and laws are observed. Please feel free to call us for additional information or visit us on the web at, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or WCIU, You and Me in the Morning for more information on how to protect your rights and safety. Above all stay safe and if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe.

Pedestrian Accidents: Chicago Takes Aim

Chicago has just completed a five-year study on pedestrian crashes with an eye to protecting pedestrians against the increasing number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities occurring in Chicago each year. The focus of the study was to pinpoint crash hotspots and identify high-risk patterns that cause or contribute to pedestrian accidents.

Chicago through a Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) study found that the majority of pedestrian/motor vehicle accidents were caused by drivers failing to yield to pedestrians within 125 feet of the midpoint of an intersection- at crosswalks or nearby. CDOT is working with the Police and other traffic enforcement authorities to crack down on these drivers. Additionally, results of the study will spur faster deployment of more technology including the installation of pedestrian countdown clocks at all of the city’s 2,900 intersections with signals and deploying Leading Pedestrian Interval devices. These devices flash the walk signal several seconds before the traffic light turns green to five pedestrians a head start and help alert drivers that the crosswalk may be occupied.

The personal injury lawyers at Grazian and Volpe applaud the efforts of the City of Chicago to protect pedestrians. We will be discussing the study on the Web at and on the first Tuesday of each month at WCIU, You and Me in the Morning. Please visit us on Twitter at GrazianTalksLaw and on Facebook and LinkedIn where we try to keep you updated on all the latest in personal injury and workers’ injury law.