Fatal pedestrian accidents remain a significant traffic safety concern. On this site, many Lake County pedestrian accidents have been summarized in posts found under the “Pedestrian Accidents” category. Additionally, various aspects of these incidents – including the injuries that typically occur when a person is hit by a vehicle, as well as what to do if you have been hit by a car or other vehicle – are further discussed on the “Lake County Pedestrian Accidents” page.
Various aspects of fatal pedestrian accidents remain worrisome. By their nature, pedestrian accident injuries are typically serious in nature, and many have the potential to be life-threatening in nature. A broad range of injuries and other harm can occur during a pedestrian crash. While some injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, are of a less serious nature and will heal over time, there are many other types of pedestrian accident injuries that can have serious adverse health implications. Pain, suffering, and perhaps disability can be caused by damage to the back and spinal column; chest; and head. Of note, there are various types of injuries that may not be readily apparent at the time of the crash, as there are no symptoms (such as pain) from the afflicted areas. Serious medical conditions, such as internal bleeding, soft-tissue damage, and head injuries (further discussed on the page titled “Head Injuries That Occur During Accidents“) may not be readily apparent immediately after the incident. This is one reason that it is recommended that someone who has been hit by a vehicle undergo a thorough medical examination, typically performed in a hospital emergency room (ER), as soon as possible after being hit.
Another worrisome aspect of fatal pedestrian accidents is that many of the people who have been fatally struck by vehicles in Lake County and the broader Chicago area were walking in crosswalks at the time of the accident.
Fatal pedestrian accidents have been increasing nationally. This trend is seen in many sources, including the February 28, 2019 Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) news release titled “New Projection: 2018 Pedestrian Fatalities Highest Since 1990.”
As seen in the information provided, there are various reasons as to why fatal pedestrian accidents are increasing. An excerpt from the news release:
A number of trends offer insight into the many causes behind the rise in pedestrian fatalities:
- More walking has increased exposure, as one survey1 estimated that the number of Americans walking to work in the past week increased about four percent between 2007 and 2016;
- Most pedestrian fatalities take place on local roads, at night, away from intersections, suggesting the need for safer road crossings. Over the past 10 years, nighttime crashes accounted for more than 90 percent of the total increase in pedestrian deaths;
- Many unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, distracted and drowsy driving, pose risks to pedestrians, and alcohol impairment by the driver and/or pedestrian was reported in about half of traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities in 2017; and
- Finally, the number of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) involved in pedestrian deaths has increased by 50 percent since 2013. By comparison, (non-SUV) passenger cars’ involvement in pedestrian fatalities increased by 30 percent over the same time period. Although passenger cars still account for the majority of pedestrian deaths, SUVs – which generally cause more severe pedestrian injuries – make up an increasingly large percentage of registered vehicles.
With regard to distracted driving as a factor mentioned above, this continues to be a top safety concern. Even a moment of driver distraction or other inattentiveness can result in a pedestrian accident. The subject of distracted driving, including statistics regarding its frequency, is further discussed on the “Distracted Driving Accidents And Injuries” page.
Additional details regarding fatal pedestrian accidents can be seen in the sources mentioned above.