More Pedestrians Being Hit By Cars In Chicago

In our last post we discussed a fatal Highland Park accident which injured a young mother and killed one of her children. Accidents involving pedestrians on sidewalks are relatively rare in Chicago, but crosswalk crashes occur frequently. The Chicago Sun Times reports that over 3,100 individuals have been injured in pedestrian crashes since 2005.

About 13 percent of pedestrian accident victims suffered fatal or catastrophic injuries. The paper reports that 11 people have died in pedestrian accidents last month and over 30 fatalities have occurred this year.

One problem for downtown Chicago residents is pedestrian accidents caused by cabs. A quarter of the Loop and Near North Side crashes involved taxis, according to transportation department statistics.

Multiple parties can be held liable when a taxi causes an accident including the cab driver and the taxi company. In order to curb the number of taxi accidents, city officials are implementing a variety of safety reforms, including limiting the hours a cab driver can work to 12.

“The new 12-hour work rules are in place for the safety of all Chicagoans, the drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” a city spokeswoman said. “Research clearly demonstrates that accidents increase dramatically after 12 hours on the road.”

Other enhanced safety measures include increased police patrols and pedestrian islands that allow pedestrians to stand in the safe place in the middle of large intersections.