5 tips for preventing Illinois pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries or death for walkers and joggers, but there are things people can do to help improve their safety.

The Illinois Department of Transportation reports there were 4,637 pedestrian accidents across the state in 2014 alone. Without a vehicle's exterior to help protect them, pedestrians often suffer bone fractures, head trauma and other serious injuries as a result of such collisions. Although not all pedestrian-involved crashes are preventable, there are things that walkers and joggers can do to help improve their safety.

Walk where it is safe

When walking or jogging, people should do their best to stay in safe areas. This includes using a crosswalk in order to cross the road. If they cannot cross at a designated area, pedestrians are advised to find the most well-lit spot and wait for an ample gap in traffic before crossing. They should also walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is not a sidewalk, it is recommended that people walk as far to the side of the road as they are able.

Obey the traffic rules

Rules, signs and signals direct the traffic and maintain the order on the streets throughout Chicago, and all of Illinois. As a pedestrian, people should be aware of these rules and pay attention to the signs and signals. Doing so may allow them to anticipate drivers' actions, and thus, increase their safety. Although motorists should give pedestrians the right of way, walkers and joggers should never assume that a driver sees them and is going to stop for them.

Avoid distractions

Distractions abound for pedestrians and drivers. If people are looking down at their phones, listening to podcasts or are otherwise engaged in distracting behaviors, they may not be aware of what is going on around them. Consequently, they may walk out in front of a car, fail to see a roadway hazard or engage in other behaviors that may increase their risk of being struck by a vehicle.

Be visible

Pedestrian-involved collisions often occur because drivers do not see walkers and joggers. In order to help improve their safety on the roads, it is advisable for pedestrians to make sure they are visible to motorists. They are recommended to wear bright colors during the day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that wearing reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight may help people increase their visibility at night.

Avoid consuming alcohol

Most people know that drinking alcohol is dangerous for drivers. However, alcohol consumption can also be hazardous for walkers and joggers. Drinking alcoholic beverages may cause people's reflexes to slow, their vision to blur and other impairments that may lead to accidents, which may result in serious injuries or death.

Obtaining legal representation

When Illinois pedestrians are injured in collisions involving motor vehicles, they often require medical treatment. This may carry unexpected costs, as well as cause them to lose income while they are off of work healing. However, the driver who cause the crash may be held liable for the resulting damages in some circumstances. Therefore, it may be helpful for those who have suffered injuries in pedestrian accidents to seek legal counsel. A lawyer may explain their rights and offer advice regarding how best to proceed given their situation.