McHenry County And Illinois Pedestrian Accident Statistics
There have been various recent McHenry County pedestrian accidents, some fatal. As well, many others have happened throughout the broader Chicago area and otherwise throughout Illinois. As seen in Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) crash reports, in McHenry County during the year 2013 there were 35 pedestrian crashes, with 1 pedestrian killed and 35 people injured.
The recent increase in Illinois pedestrian accidents is discussed in the Chicago Tribune article of May 30, 2016, titled “As pedestrian deaths rise, IDOT reiterates importance of paying attention.” Various aspects of the year 2015 pedestrian accident fatalities and trends experienced in Illinois are discussed. Two excerpts from that article:
Last year, 146 crashes resulted in 150 fatalities on roads across the state, up 18 percent from 2014 when there were 127 deaths, according to preliminary numbers from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Of those 150 pedestrians killed, nearly a third of the deaths — or 46 — occurred in Chicago, which also saw a 31 percent hike over 2014.
The Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit made up of state highway safety offices, also indicated that distracted pedestrians and drivers may be partially responsible for an increase in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2013 after decades of a steady decline.
McHenry County Pedestrian Accidents
McHenry County pedestrian accidents have many causes. While walking is beneficial for many reasons – including those related to recreation and fitness – it does include risks when done around traffic. This is especially so given high levels of traffic on many streets.
As seen in posts on this site [found in the “Pedestrian Accidents” category] which discuss people who have been hit by vehicles while in McHenry County, such incidents have occurred on the following dates:
- November 19, 2016 in unincorporated Woodstock [fatal]
- October 2, 2016 in McHenry
- January 12, 2016 in Woodstock
- December 21, 2015 in Woodstock
- October 28, 2015 in McHenry [fatal]
- September 6, 2015 in Lake in the Hills
- August 18, 2015 in Cary
- August 4, 2015 in McHenry [fatal]
- May 31, 2015 in Crystal Lake
- January 29, 2015 in Crystal Lake
- June 27, 2014 in unincorporated Dunham Township
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
There are many reasons why pedestrian accidents lead to injuries. Notably, many of these injuries are critical injuries and can be life-threatening in nature. Perhaps foremost among these reasons is that pedestrians have little if any impact protection when they are hit by a vehicle. As such, the pedestrian’s body absorbs most – if not all – of the impact, and the body is subject to many powerful and unnatural forces.
If a person is hurt due to being hit by a vehicle, there is a broad array of injuries that can occur. These injuries include damage to the neck and spinal column; bone fractures; serious bruises; broken arms; broken legs; and various types of internal bleeding and other “soft tissue” damage. Blunt force trauma injuries to the chest can also occur.
Among the most serious injuries that can result from someone being hit by a vehicle is traumatic brain injuries (TBI.) These types of head injuries have been seen in many Chicago-area accidents. The December 21, 2015 post (“Pedestrian Accident In Woodstock, Illinois“) is an example of a pedestrian accident in McHenry County that led to a concussion.
The severity of these various pedestrian accident injuries can vary significantly. Many of these injuries and other harm that has occurred may lead to temporary or permanent physical impairments, which may require one or more surgeries. As well, injury recovery may require a significant amount of physical and occupational rehabilitation.
Fatal McHenry County Pedestrian Crashes
As seen in the above list of McHenry County pedestrian crashes, a high percentage of those hit by a vehicle died from their accident injuries. These fatalities include both those who died immediately as well as those pedestrians who died at some point after the accident.
Fault In Pedestrian Accidents
Many of the fatal McHenry County pedestrian accidents involve people who are hit by vehicles while they try to cross the street. Accidents that happen in crosswalks are particularly notable, as people who walk in crosswalks with the right-of-way often expect to do so safely. However, in many cases crosswalks and the rights they are supposed to provide to “walkers” are disregarded by motorists. Various statistics show that Chicago pedestrian accidents – including those fatal – often happen while people are walking in a crosswalk with the “walk” signal. As discussed in the October 26, 2011 post, titled “City of Chicago Initiative To Highlight Pedestrian Accidents And Pedestrian Safety“:
About 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian crashes in Chicago occur at intersections and commonly involve people crossing the street with the walk signal, according to a new city study released this summer. The No. 1 cause of the accidents was drivers failing to yield, the analysis found.
Of the McHenry County pedestrian accidents highlighted above, at least one of them (the October 2, 2016 incident in McHenry) happened as pedestrians were walking in crosswalks. Many other such crosswalk accidents have recently happened in the Chicago area.
Risk Factors For Pedestrian Accidents
There are many reasons why pedestrian collisions occur. However, there are some common characteristics of when and why such collisions occur, and the demographics of those who are most vulnerable to being hit by a vehicle. Various “risk factors” are discussed in the “Pedestrian Injuries: Emergency Care Considerations” [Chakravarthy B, Lotfipour S, Vaca FE. Pedestrian Injuries: Emergency Care Considerations. The California Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2007;8(1):15-21.] research document. An excerpt concerning the vulnerabilities of older adults:
Older adult pedestrians, those 65 years and older, have their own limitations that make them susceptible to collisions. As adults age, gradual losses in hearing, vision, reflexes and flexibility put them at risk for pedestrian collisions. Furthermore, once the older adult pedestrian is struck, their co-morbid conditions and limited physical reserves contribute to a higher percentage of death and disability when compared to the rest of the population. Older adults make up 12% of the U.S. population, yet they account for 23% of all hospitalizations for traumatic injuries.11 Compared to younger patients, older adults for any given injury experience longer hospitalization, more complications, and higher mortality rates.12,13 The same results hold true for older-adult pedestrian injuries, accounting for over a 20% overall mortality rate and an increased incidence of both severe and critical trauma.14,15 Risky behaviors are noticeably absent in older adult pedestrians who are injured. Senior pedestrian collisions occur more often during daylight hours, at the end of blocks rather than mid-block, and rarely involve pedestrian intoxication.8 While older adults account for a lower number of pedestrian injuries (7%), they account for a greater percentage of pedestrian casualties (16%), despite their commendable safety practices.2 Because of more limited biophysical reserves, older adults are more frequently severely injured or killed.
Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents
There are many steps that one can take to minimize the risk of being hit by a car while walking. Having knowledge of “dangerous intersections” for pedestrians can be highly beneficial.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published pedestrian safety tips at its “Everyone is a pedestrian” site. Walking safety tips are also provided for children and older adults.
The CDC document titled “Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety” offers the following tips:
Whenever you’re walking, keep these tip2 in mind:
- Whenever possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
- Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
- It’s safest to walk on a sidewalk, but if one is not available, walk on the shoulder and face traffic.
- Avoid distractions such as electronic devices that take your attention off the road.
Injury Costs And Expenses
There are many types of expenses that can be directly incurred when someone is hit by a car or other vehicle. Typically, medical bills may be (very) high, especially if the person does not have health insurance to cover expenses. Many people who have been hit and injured by a vehicle seek to obtain injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. This compensation can include many different types. The amount of such compensation varies depending upon many different factors, including the types and severity of the injuries. Compensation types can include that for:
- Medical costs (past, current and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of function
- Lost wages
- Other economic damages
A personal injury lawyer can provide an overview as to what types of compensation – as well as what amounts – may be reasonably expected given the specific characteristics of the accident, the injuries, and the overall legal and medical situations.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident
The above discusses various aspects of accidents involving pedestrians. As discussed, pedestrian accidents often cause accident injuries – and in many cases these injuries are serious in nature, and can be either life-threatening or fatal.
Should you be injured in such a collision, there are steps you should take to protect both your health as well as your legal rights, including your rights to potential injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person or entity.
From a medical perspective, it is recommended that you get a comprehensive medical exam if you are hit by a car or another vehicle. There are many health and legal reasons for this recommendation. One of the reasons is that some accident injury symptoms are not immediately apparent, i.e. what some call “delayed onset.” A thorough medical examination can check for accident injuries that have occurred but may not yet be apparent. There are many examples of people who have suffered serious accident injuries but aren’t aware of these injuries for a substantial time period. A delay in medical treatment can sometimes create a dangerous health threat, and in some cases such delay can become life-threatening. Serious injuries with symptoms that may not immediately manifest include various traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and internal bleeding.
From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. While many people who have been recently injured in an accident may find this to be inconvenient – or otherwise may wish to delay such a conversation – there are various steps you should quickly take to protect your legal rights and to help you attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred. The personal injury lawyer can explain these steps as well as determine if the filing of a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. [For those who represent a person that has died due to an accident, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted.]
If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Joseph Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions – including the filing of a lawsuit – may be appropriate. This discussion is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.
Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases. Through this extensive experience, the Elman Joseph Law Group has built a reputation for its court trial performance. As seen in many of its cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase potential accident injury compensation.
Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…clients are not charged legal fees unless and until they get money.