Fatal pedestrian accidents remain a significant traffic safety concern, both throughout Illinois as well as nationally. On this site, various McHenry County pedestrian accidents that have caused injuries or fatalities have been summarized in posts found under the “McHenry County pedestrian accidents” category. As seen in these posts, accidents involving vehicles hitting pedestrians have occurred in Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Harvard, Marengo, Harvard, McHenry, Woodstock, Lake in the Hills, Cary, and various unincorporated areas. Many of these accidents resulted in the pedestrian being fatality injured.
Pedestrian accidents are worrisome for many reasons. One aspect of fatal pedestrian accidents that have occurred in the Chicago area is that many of the people who have been struck by vehicles were walking in crosswalks at the time of the accident. Another problematical aspect is the severity of injuries typically resulting from pedestrian accidents.
Due to the often high physical forces involved, it is likely when a person is hit by a car or other vehicle serious accident injuries occur. These injuries can lead to life-threatening adverse health conditions. Should the injuries lead to a fatality, the person can pass away either at the accident scene or the person may pass away at some later time.
Injuries that can occur during a pedestrian crash range in type and severity. Some injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, may be painful but will heal over time. Other, more serious injuries – those that may have lasting health implications – often occur. While these serious accident injuries can take many forms – and 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 accompanying disabilities.
If you are struck by a vehicle, it is advisable that you get a thorough medical examination as soon as possible. There are various reasons – both medical and legal – for this recommendation. From a medical perspective, various types of injuries 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. Some serious medical conditions, such as brain trauma (further discussed on the “McHenry County Traumatic Brain Injuries” page), internal bleeding, and soft tissue damage are some 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 increase in fatal pedestrian accidents. 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 crash. The subject of distracted driving, including various statistics as to its occurrence, is further discussed on the “Distracted Driving Accidents” page.
Another factor that has been cited with regard to pedestrian accidents is “distracted walking.” While there are various reasons as to why someone may be distracted while walking, texting and other forms of cellphone 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 McHenry 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 “Pedestrian Accidents That Occur In McHenry County” page.