Tips for Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago
Chicago is a friendly city for people who like to get around town on foot for work, errands, or just plain fun. However, as the days get shorter in the fall, lower visibility can make walking more hazardous. Statistics compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are proof of this point: Pedestrians are more likely to be killed in nighttime accidents from September 1 to November 30. During these months, more than half of all fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and midnight. While you cannot completely prevent such incidents, you can reduce the possibility of being injured in a pedestrian accident by following a few important safety tips.
- Dress for Visibility: Even in low visibility conditions, you are more likely to be seen by motorists if you dress properly. Wear light and brightly colored clothing that will make you more noticeable. If you are walking for exercise, invest in workout gear that has reflective thread woven into the fabric. You can also buy reflective patches and sew them on your clothing yourself.
- Calls and Texts Can Wait: You often hear about accidents happening because a motorist is talking, texting, capturing images, or otherwise using a cell phone. Many of the same concepts apply even when you are not behind the wheel. Distracted driving could lead you to overlook a traffic signal, or you could fail to spot oncoming traffic when you are staring at the screen. If you must take a call or reply to a message, stop in a safe spot and continue.
- Carry a Flashlight: Another way to be more visible to drivers is to tote some sort of light source, whether you carry a flashlight, wear a headlamp, or don shoes with light-up soles. Hardcore runners may also consider purchasing a vest or belt equipped with light. With LED technology, your light can go for hours without the need to change batteries.
- Stay Vigilant: Since visibility will always be an issue for pedestrians, you can protect yourself from an accident by staying alert at all times. Watch for reversing cars in parking garages and be vigilant during rush hour. Chicago’s unique city layout of alleys between streets may also present a hazard to those on foot. When approaching one, slow your stride and take a peek down the alley for oncoming cars. Motorists may not see you as they navigate through these narrow lanes.
- Practice Caution at Intersections: When a crosswalk is present, use it. At intersections with traffic lights, obey the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs. Always look both ways before entering the intersection, and watch out for turning vehicles.
Talk to a Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer About the Rights of Injured Victims
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for such losses as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, you will need a knowledgeable attorney to assist you in filing a claim or going to court. For more information on your rights, please contact the Chicago offices of Michael T. Friedman & Associates. We can schedule a free consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer who can explain your legal remedies.