As the weather warms up in Illinois, more and more people will begin walking to work, school, restaurants, or simply for fresh air and exercise. This is especially true in more urban areas, such as Chicago. Since many suburbanites take the train into the city and walk to their workplace from the station, it is important for both city residents and those living outside of the city to take precautions when walking downtown. Chicago does a good job of providing sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians to use, but there is still the potential of accidents with injuries if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. The streets are so busy that even those obeying the rules of the road could find themselves in a dangerous situation.
Watch Your Step
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 6,283 pedestrian fatalities in 2018 alone. Whether or not the pedestrian is to blame, it is important for streetwalkers to remain vigilant since they lack the same protection as those behind the wheel. The following are a few safety tips for those walking city streets:
Go with the flow: What usually places pedestrians in hot water is making unpredictable movements and drivers being unable to react quickly enough. Although drivers should be aware of their surroundings, and those in them, Chicago’s streets are crowded and it can be difficult for drivers to take note of it all. As a pedestrian, it is important to follow the flow of traffic. This can seem frustrating for someone who is in a rush, but those extra few minutes of walking with others can save you from being struck by an automobile or bus.
Avoid distractions: Just as much as drivers are warned of the dangers of distractions, walking distracted can be just as dangerous. You should avoid looking at your cell phone, reading, or staring intently at the storefronts nearby while walking during the morning or evening rush hours. Keeping your eyes on the sidewalk or road in front of you can improve your reaction time and make you more in control of your safety.
Wear the proper footwear: As funny as it sounds, wearing comfortable, sensible shoes can be the difference between going to work and spending the afternoon in the hospital. Many businessmen and women will wear dress shoes or heels to meet their workplace’s dress code. These shoes may be good for the office, but they are not good for walking city streets. It is important to wear shoes that allow you to have proper footing with every step to avoid falling or losing your balance in the middle of the street.
Look both ways: Most Chicago streets have crosswalks that notify pedestrians when it is their turn to cross. These crosswalks may work most of the time, but you never know when a distracted or impaired driver may not notice that the light has changed from green to red. Before stepping out onto the street, look in both directions to be sure that there is no oncoming traffic, even on a one-way street.
Contact a Barrington Personal Injury Attorney
Whether you are injured walking the streets of Chicago or traversing the roads outside of the city, it is important that you have proper legal representation to collect the compensation that you deserve. In most of these cases, a motorist is at fault, but many injured pedestrians are hesitant to press charges. At Barrington Injury Attorneys, we assist clients throughout the Chicagoland area who have suffered due to another party’s reckless behavior. We believe that negligent drivers should be held accountable no matter how serious the injuries are. If you have been injured as a pedestrian, contact our Cook County pedestrian accident lawyers at 847-381-8700 to schedule a free consultation.