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Chicago Traffic Fatalities Down, But Not For Pedestrians and Bicyclists

December 23, 2019

When it comes to the number of traffic fatalities, the United States is seeing some progress. For the third year in a row, traffic fatalities have continued on a downward trend, according to USA Today.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 36,560 traffic fatalities occurred across the U.S. in 2018 — a 2.4 percent decrease from 2017. The federal agency also projected a further 3.4 percent decline in road deaths during the first half of 2019.

Good news, but still more work to be done

Sure, this sounds like good news, but 36,560 is still astronomically high for a developed nation. During the same year, the European Union had roughly 25,100 traffic fatalities, which is still high, yet significantly lower than that of the U.S.

Where are we going wrong? With an increased awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, and drowsy driving, why is human error still the primary culprit? More durable cars are equipped with safety technology, so why are so many crashes fatal? With traffic fatalities among car drivers on the decline, who is the most at risk?

Today, more pedestrians (3.4%) and bicyclists (6.3%) are dying on American roadways. We’ve invested so much money and research into developing safer vehicles and roadway infrastructure that accommodates driver safety — yet we’re still lagging behind when it comes to the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Chicago, for example, has been directly impacted by the overall decline in traffic fatalities, according to StreetsBlog. As of August 31 of 2019, Chicago had 24 percent fewer traffic fatalities within the city. By May 30, pedestrian fatalities were down 40 percent when compared to the same period during 2018.

They swiftly changed. By August 31, approximately 30 pedestrians were killed on Chicago streets — a slight increase from the same period in 2018. Many of these pedestrian fatalities didn’t occur in Chicago streets, but rather on sidewalks, at bus stops, in alleyways, and even in buildings.

Five bicyclists were struck and killed during the same period, which is more than the five-year average of 3.4.

Injured in a crash? You need strong legal representation.

While improvements to infrastructure and vehicle safety may help protect all road users, human error is still the leading cause of all traffic deaths, especially those involving pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Chicago attorneys at Coplan + Crane have seen the devastation caused by motorists texting and driving, getting behind the wheel while drunk, driving erratically, and driving drowsy. There is no amount of technology that can prevent this type of behavior. That’s why our legal team is dedicated to helping crash victims and their families seek justice.

If you were hurt in a crash, our attorneys can launch an aggressive investigation and fight to recover all damages you’re entitled to. Contact us online today to get started on your claim.