Fatal pedestrian accidents remain a significant traffic safety concern, both in Illinois as well as nationally. On this site, various DuPage County pedestrian accidents that have caused injuries or fatalities have been summarized in posts found under the “DuPage County pedestrian accidents” category. The accidents summarized have occurred in a broad range of towns and cities in DuPage County, including Villa Park, Downers Grove, Naperville, near Burr Ridge, Woodridge, Lisle, Darien, and Warrenville. As seen in those posts, a significant percentage of such accidents have resulted in fatalities.
Pedestrian accidents are worrisome for many reasons. Often, when a person is hit by a car or other vehicle serious accident injuries occur. These injuries can lead to life-threatening medical conditions. Due to the high level of physical trauma a person is subjected to when hit by a vehicle, a fatality can occur either at the scene of the accident or the person may pass away from injuries at a later time.
Injuries that can occur during a pedestrian crash vary both in type and severity. Some injuries heal over time, such as scrapes and bruises. As well, more serious injuries – that may have lasting health implications – often occur. Lasting pain, suffering, and perhaps temporary or permanent disability can be caused by trauma to the back, neck and spinal column; legs, ankles and arms; thoracic region; and head.
It is recommended that if you are struck by a vehicle that you get a thorough medical examination as soon as possible. Various types of injuries may not be readily apparent at the time of the crash – i.e. the symptoms might be “delayed onset” in nature – meaning that there are no symptoms (such as pain or visible trauma) from the affected areas right after the accident. Serious medical conditions, such as internal bleeding, soft-tissue damage, and brain trauma (further discussed on the “Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Resulting From Accidents” page) are some injuries that may not be readily apparent soon after the incident.
Another worrisome aspect of fatal pedestrian accidents is that many of the people who have been fatally struck by vehicles in the metropolitan Chicago area were walking in crosswalks at the time of the accident.
There has been a 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” 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.
Additional discussion regarding DuPage County pedestrian accidents – including “what to do” if you have been hit by a car or other vehicle – can be seen on the “Injuries Resulting From DuPage County Pedestrian Accidents” page.