Accidents occur in a variety of ways throughout the state of Illinois. Unfortunately, pedestrians are often involved in vehicle accidents in this state, and they regularly happen because of a violation of crosswalk laws. It is vital that both pedestrians and drivers understand the laws concerning crosswalks. This includes understanding which party has the right of way in various circumstances. Violation of crosswalk laws could result in a person being held liable for any accident injuries. If you have been involved in an accident, contact our Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
Crosswalk Laws Are Vital For Pedestrian Safety
Contrary to popular belief, there is no general prohibition of jaywalking written into the Chicago Municipal Code. However, jaywalking is going to be illegal in certain areas. This includes the following:
- Pedestrian street crossings between intersections that have been prohibited “in the interest of public safety.”
- Areas where there are “appropriate signs giving notice” of the prohibition of pedestrian crossing.
When we turn to the Illinois code of laws, we can see that pedestrians generally have the right-of-way when they are in or around the roadway. However, there are exceptions to this rule. When there are traffic signals in place or marked crosswalks, pedestrians must use these to cross the street. Not using a crosswalk when there is one present could mean that the pedestrian will be at fault if an accident does occur. As mentioned above, there are a few circumstances in which a pedestrian is not allowed to simply cross the road.
Additionally, pedestrians may be at fault if they cross a roadway while they are impaired by alcohol or drugs or while distracted by their phones or other devices. A pedestrian may also be at fault for an accident if they fail to use a sidewalk when one is available.
Drivers need to understand that they have responsibilities on the roadways as well. Pulling directly from Illinois state laws (625 ILCS 5/11-1002(a)), we can see that “…the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”
Pedestrian Accidents Are Common Throughout Illinois
Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable to sustaining severe injuries in the event they are struck by a vehicle. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 5,006 total pedestrian accidents reported during the latest year across the state. Out of these incidents, there were 167 fatal crashes and 4,711 injury crashes reported.
This data clearly shows that a significant percentage of all pedestrian collisions result in some form of injury or a fatality for the pedestrians involved. It is not uncommon for survivors of pedestrian collisions to have sustained the following injuries:
- Spinal cord trauma with paralysis
- Other severe neck or back injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Open head wound
- Severe lacerations or road rash
- Crush injuries or amputations
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Broken and dislocated bones
In addition to these physical injuries, it is not uncommon for pedestrian accident victims to sustain significant emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the accident and their subsequent injuries.