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Common causes of pedestrian-vehicle accidents

You don't have to spend much time in Chicago to realize that there are pedestrians everywhere. From people walking to and from work to those bicycling for leisure, Chicago is one of those cities where many people understand the benefits of alternative transportation.

As a pedestrian, it's critical to understand the most common causes of accidents, as this knowledge can help prevent serious trouble. Here are some of the most common mistakes that drivers make:

  • Distracted driving: Imagine a situation in which a driver is texting while entering a crowded intersection. This could lead them to lose track of pedestrians, thus greatly increasing the risk of an accident.
  • Speeding: Any time a driver operates their vehicle in excess of the speed limit there's a greater chance of an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian.
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians: Drivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, but this doesn't always happen. Maybe a driver is in a hurry so they attempt to rush through a busy crosswalk. Or maybe they're not paying attention and do so unknowingly. Either way, it puts all pedestrians at risk.
  • Driving under the influence: Drugs and/or alcohol impair a driver's ability to obey the rules of the road and make sound decisions.
  • Failure to alter driving style based on weather conditions: For instance, during the winter months there will be times when there is snow or ice on the ground. If a driver doesn't slow down in these conditions, they're at greater risk of losing control of their vehicle.

You can't control the behavior of the drivers on the road around you, but you can improve your safety by:

  • Understanding that some drivers have no respect for pedestrians
  • Looking both ways every time you cross the road, without fail
  • Using crosswalks as an added level of protection when crossing the road

If you're struck by a motor vehicle, even a slow moving one, there's a high risk of serious injury. This can result in broken bones, traumatic brain injury and abrasions (and that's just the start).

After receiving medical treatment, review your insurance policies to determine if you're covered in a pedestrian-vehicle accident. Also, collect evidence from the scene and other documentation, as doing so can help you hold the negligent driver responsible.

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