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Pedestrian Fatalities Increase in 2020

August 19, 2021

Pedestrian accidents have continued to be a serious problem nationwide, including in 2020, when pedestrian fatalities increased just one year after reaching a 30-year high, according to the latest statistics compiled by government officials.

So why have pedestrian accidents become so common? Why are they happening? And what should you do if you or a loved one gets hit by a car in Illinois? Below, you can find the answers to these questions and other important information from experienced attorneys who represent injured pedestrians in the greater Chicago area and throughout Illinois.

How bad were pedestrian accidents in 2020?

Even though there were fewer drivers on the road last year, pedestrian accidents and fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents increased in 2020, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

Last year, an estimated 6,721 pedestrians were killed nationwide, an increase of 131 deaths or 1.9% compared to 2019. The numbers were even worse in Illinois, where 75 pedestrians were killed in accidents during the first half of 2020, an increase of 7% compared to the first half of 2019 when 70 pedestrians died in accidents.

Last year’s increase followed the most pedestrian fatalities in a single year nationwide since 1988. In 2019, a total of 6,590 pedestrians were killed in accidents in the United States—2019 was a bad year for pedestrian fatalities as well in Illinois and Cook County, where Chicago and Oak Park are located. In 2019, pedestrian fatalities reached a 5-year high in Illinois (173 deaths) and Cook County (103 fatalities), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

What is the cause of pedestrian accidents?

Pedestrian fatalities often occur because the driver who caused the accident was behaving in a reckless or negligent manner.

Specific causes include:

  • Distracted drivers not paying attention to pedestrians crossing the street, using a crosswalk, or walking alongside a road
  • Texting drivers looking at their phones instead of watching for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers on the road
  • Reckless, aggressive drivers who don’t stop or slow down when people are in a crosswalk or walking on the side of the road
  • Speeding drivers who don’t give themselves enough time to slow down and avoid hitting a pedestrian
  • Drunk drivers who are unaware of their surroundings or blackout while driving
  • Tired drivers who fall asleep at the wheel and hit people walking across the street or alongside a road

These are just a few reasons why pedestrian accidents happen. Whatever the cause of your pedestrian accident, make sure you talk to an attorney as soon as possible to learn more about the legal options available to you.

Legal help is available for accident victims

At Coplan + Crane in the greater Chicago area, our attorneys know how to investigate pedestrian accidents and build strong cases. We also know how to deal with insurance companies and can demand the financial compensation you deserve. Our approach consistently produces sizable settlements and verdicts. For instance, in one case we secured $450,000 for a 79-year-old Chicago woman who was hit by a CTA bus and sustained leg injuries.

See how our dedicated legal team can help you. Schedule a free case evaluation at our Oak Park, Illinois office. We can review the details of your case and answer any questions you might have about your claim. Contact us right now. We handle legal cases throughout Illinois.