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Child Pedestrians Vulnerable to Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

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1 out of 5 children killed in car accidents are struck as pedestrians.

A parent will take all possible steps to keep a child safe while traveling. Parents drive with extra caution, slow down, purchase cars equipped with the latest safety features, and use booster seats and car seats. It becomes more difficult to ensure the safety of children pedestrians. According to available statistics, in 2013, 1 out of 5 children killed in car accidents were struck as pedestrians.

Child Pedestrian Safety

Car accidents can cause life-altering injuries to pedestrians of all age groups; however, children are particularly vulnerable compared to other age groups. Getting struck by a car is the third-leading cause of death among children in the age group of 5-9 years. Children up to 15-years old represent a large percentage of pedestrians killed in car accidents.

Why Children Are More Vulnerable

Children are particularly vulnerable to being hit by motor vehicles for a number of reasons. Children are distracted easily and forget to watch for oncoming traffic. Children have a shorter attention span and lower impulse control compared to adults, so they tend to make impulsive decisions, making them vulnerable to accidents and injuries. In addition, children have smaller and more delicate bodies than adults – a minor collision can cause severe and life-threatening injuries.

A study has shown that many kids simply do not see cars coming and this increases their risk of being involved in a car accident. There is substantial evidence to show that children’s perceptual abilities develop gradually over time, so they are not as capable as an adult to see a car coming and to judge its approaching distance and speed. The study also showed that children demonstrate improvement in their perception and alertness with age, but older children fail to match up to adults in their ability to detect the speed and distance of an approaching vehicle.

Back to School Safety: Cracking Down on Distracted Walking to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

pedestrian accident lawyerWe’ve all seen it: that guy walking down a busy street with his eyes glued to his cellphone, thumbs and fingers flying as he sends a text message, completely oblivious to everything around him.

Sometimes it’s funny.  Sometimes it’s annoying.  But all the time, it’s risky.

Thanks to the irresistible temptations of our smartphones, “distracted walking” is an increasingly common occurrence. Unfortunately, there’s also been a rise in distracted walking-related injuries across the country.  Each year, more than 1,500 pedestrians are injured – some even killed – as they fall down stairs, get hit by cars, bikes or buses, tumble down embankments, or crash into stationary objects because they’re more tuned into their digital devices than to the world around them.

Common Forms of Distracting Walking That Can Contribute to Pedestrian Accidents

  • Talking on cell phone
  • Sending or reading a text message
  • Listening to music or an audio book
  • Playing games on a handheld device

Surprisingly, some studies show that you’re more likely to be injured while talking on a cell phone while walking than texting while walking. This may be because we tend to be more at ease walking and talking, then while driving and thus less likely to stay alert to potential dangers. These findings do not mean, however, that it is safe to text and walk at the same time as auto accidents are not always the drivers fault.

High School and College Students are at High Risk

hit by a car in chicago

High school and college students need to be made aware of the dangers of distracted walking as they are particularly at risk for suffering distracted walking injuries.  Pedestrian injuries to kids age 16 -19 increased 25% over the past five years, and researchers believe that distracted walking has played a major role. Girls are more likely to engage in distracted walking than boys, but the pedestrian death rate is 1.8 times higher for boys.

These statistics lead Safe Kids Worldwide to study the behavior of 34,000 teens crossing the street in school zones.  In a report released in August 2013, Safe Kids found that 39% of those kids observed were texting, 39% were wearing headphones, 20% were talking on the phone, and 2% were using a handheld tablet or game.

The report also noted that students near traffic lights were more likely to be distracted than those that were not, presumably because the students near traffic lights assumed the surroundings to be safer and needing less attention.

How to reduce distracted walking accidents

Mobile devices are here to stay and it’s pretty unrealistic that everyone, particularly young students, will stop talking on the phone or listening to music while walking down the street. Nonetheless, distracted walking accidents can be prevented by taking a few simple steps:

  • Wait to text, talk or play.  We live in a world of instant gratification but for safety’s sake, train yourself to text or talk on the phone only when you’re standing still. Believe it or not, the world will not crumble if you cross a street without checking your email!
  • Turn down the volume.  When we listen to music on the go, we tend to turn the volume up high to drown out the sounds of the city.  But this increases the risk that we won’t hear a horn blowing or notice other auditory clues alerting us to danger.   Keep your volume at a moderate level so that you can remain attuned to the world around you.
  • Set a good example for kids.  Children should be taught safe walking habits early. Just as you teach your children to look both ways before crossing a street, you should teach children that talking on a cell phone, texting, or playing games should only take place when you’re stationary. The best way to teach children this is by adhering to these rules yourself and by pointing out dangerous behaviors in others.

630 Children Are Killed By Cars Every Year

Every year, approximately 630 children are killed in pedestrian fatalities.

The majority of these occur during the summer, when kids are playing outside more frequently. Here’s how to keep your kid safe from cars this summer.

Know Your Child’s Limits

Many parents feel comfortable with their children playing near or in the street in residential neighborhoods because they trust the child’s judgment and feel secure that they’ve enforced good safety rules about what to do when a car approaches. Unfortunately, children and adolescents are fundamentally less capable of gauging the speed of oncoming cars than adults are.

Children can’t reliably detect a car approaching at speeds of higher than 20 mph – and while your neighborhood may well have signs posted for that speed, you probably know that there are many drivers who ignore these signs and travel at 30 or 40 mph. Kids also have a harder time determining how fast a car is approaching if they are to one side of the vehicle, as they would be on a crosswalk, or if the child is in motion, as they frequently are.

Make Stricter Rules

Understanding your child’s limits in this regard can help you construct safety rules that better suit their ability. For example, instead of telling your children to get out of the street when a car approaches, you might tell them to get out of the street if a car so much as turns the corner a block away. Or if your street is one where cars may whip around corners at any moment, simply disallow playing in or near the street altogether, as well as crossing in the middle of the street.

Children under the age of 10 should flatly not be allowed to cross streets alone, no matter how well they obey the rules of traffic. They are more difficult for drivers to see and have a much harder time determining when they need to get out of the way if a driver has not seen them. Adult supervision is always best – better safe than sorry when it comes to your kids.

Practice the Boundaries

If your child is young and shouldn’t be playing near the street, but you don’t have an enclosed back yard for them to play in, you may allow them to play in the front yard. If you can, fence off the play area from the street and from your own driveway – sadly, at least 2 deaths a week occur in the United States when a driver backing out of a driveway doesn’t see a young child behind the vehicle.

While you should supervise your child if at all possible, it’s best to practice scenarios where you might step away briefly. Teach your children not to run out into the street after a ball or other toy by practicing what to do if it happens. Play catch with your child and deliberately overthrow now and then. Teach your child to stop at the boundary line of your front yard and let the ball go into the street.

You want to practice because a child’s impulse

control is poor, and even if they’re very clear on the rule, they may forget in the heat of the moment when their favorite toy goes sailing in front of a car. With practice, they will be able to recognize the impulse but not follow through – and while they’re practicing, you’re right there to stop them if they forget.

Chicago Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

It is important for all of us to take steps to keep children safe as both pedestrians and passengers. Stay alert and slow down when driving in school zones, neighborhoods, and other areas where kids may be present. If your child has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to claim financial compensation from the negligent driver. Compensation includes:

  • past and future medical expenses
  • physical therapy
  • pain and suffering

Let us help with your case, Call Us 24/7: (312) 957-4166

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Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You Navigate Your Injury Case

Willen’s Injury Law Offices’ Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers have varied and extensive experience with personal injury law, from both sides of the aisle, is a true asset for their clients. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys not only have years of litigation and negotiation experience working for victims of accidents or negligence, but they also have Matthew L. Willens’ background as a former insurance company executive. 

Additionally, another accident lawyer at the firm, David Baez, spent the first part of his career as a defense attorney who represented insurance companies. As the firm’s clients sometimes say, “It’s like they know the other side’s playbook!”

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Twenty-five years of success in personal injury and medical malpractice cases.


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Client Reviews

Willens Injury Law Offices was highly recommended by a friend. Upon my initial consultation, David was very friendly yet profesional. He was able to get a favorable result, I will definitely recommend him to my family and friends. Thank you!
Lucia R.
19:41 08 Apr 21
When I got into my accident in 2018, I was 18, I was scared and I didn’t know what to do. David worked with me and made sure I was taken care of all the way to the end. He fought for my case and made sure I got the settlement I deserved. Definitely will be recommending the Willens office to my friends and family .Thank you!!!!
Emmalee R.
19:51 23 Nov 20
I 100% back this firm. I was in an accident that caused me some injury that needed medical attention. I reached out to Willens Law Offices to assist since I noticed a large amount of overwhelmingly positive reviews. Believe all the positive ones!!This firm is very professional and helpful from the beginning to end. They look out for their clients, and do their best to achieve 100% client satisfaction. If you consult with them to help, you will not be unhappy at the end.I want to give a huge shoutout to David Baez who assisted my throughout the entire case. I highly recommend him and this firm.Please note, if you utilize them and don't hear back a lot during the case, don't be alarmed. They will reach out to you when the time is right. They are not neglecting you, they are working hard day in and day out to resolve your case.1 Million % recommended!!!!!
Michael R.
18:42 13 Jun 20
It's been over a year since I was involved in my car accident - everyone knows that is a very stressful time for the injured party. I considered going through the whole process on my own but I quickly realized the insurance company was NOT my friend. I reached out to Willens Law Offices, met Matt and the attorney that would be handling my claim, David Baez. David was excellent, I'm big on communication and anytime I texted David; sometimes ad nauseam, he would always respond quickly and professionally. I had a ton of questions, and David answered everyone of them to my satisfaction. I could not have asked for a better attorney to fight for me, I have extremely high expectations and they were exceeded consistently.
Edmond P.
15:33 28 Apr 20
Reliable, efficient, & informative. Personable yet professional, Willens office took care of my every last need & then some!!
Kyle M.
15:35 10 Apr 20
I got into a car accident a couple years back, I didn’t know what to do so I researched on Google then found Willens law office. At the time it was new to me but after they help me out, guided me, let me in the right path and I haven’t been happy here ever since because justice was served! Thank you Willens coming from the Herrera family
Jose H.
18:38 03 Apr 20
I had an accident injuries and based on google reviews I reached out to Willens Law Offices in Chicago. David Baez helped me with my case. He came to meet us and understood our case in detail and he guided me all the steps of the process. I had advices from friends that you are unnecessarily going after the process and nothing will happen. David made everything worthwhile and he gave right advice always which was right for my health and right for the case. He worked very hard on my case for 2 years collecting all the paperwork, talking to physicians and taking care of my case and making it in my favor. I was truly blessed by having David Baez handling my case who was extremely professional, great ethics and felt as my family with him. After the injuries and pain I was afraid to select one but my God made me select the right one. If anyone feel they need accident injuries lawyer then I will only recommend David Baez. Nobody will beat his hard work, professionalisms, ethics and perseverance and yet down to earth and honest. Thank you for everything you have done for me and blessings from my heart for his success.
Mamta S.
14:25 06 Mar 20
David A. Baez at Willens Law office has been fantastic to work with. Very professional, informative and responsive to all questions. Hopefully I don't get into another car accident but if so I will call the Willens Law Offices asap.
steve B.
17:33 10 Dec 19
The initial impressions I had of this place turned out to be false, and I am thankful that I am pursuing the case with Mr. Willens. He is pretty incredible at what he does.
Donald B.
08:05 27 Nov 19
I can only say good things about Mr. Willens. He was fantastic, Aside from his awesome expertise, he is very down to earth and make you feel like family! HE TRULY CARES! Always eager to help and make himself available at every point of time. Thank you Matt again for everything!
Arthur L.
10:27 25 Nov 19
Truly passionate about their clients. Professional and easy to work with.
Peter W.
11:01 22 Nov 19
I came across Willens Law Offices after searching endlessly for a law firm to represent me in my personal injury case. I was well accommodated and he made me feel at ease, you truly feel like he will go the extra mile for you from the moment you hand the case over to him until the very end. I highly recommend this firm to anyone looking for representation!
Edna S.
10:05 20 Nov 19
If I ever find myself needing another law firm I will not hesitate for a second to contact him!
Micheal E.
10:12 18 Nov 19
I was involved in a car accident and was having trouble getting compensated for the amount I felt I should get. I contacted Willens Law Offices through a referral, worked with David Baez and had a very good experience. They helped educate me on the process along with helping me get what I deserved. I would HIGHLY recommend contacting them if you are involved in an accident.
mohsin M.
19:38 15 Nov 19
His staff was always so nice and friendly and responded promptly if I ever had any questions. I'm very thankful to come across them and will highly recommend them!
Rodrick M.
10:04 15 Nov 19
I'm sending a special thanks to Matt for working patiently and closely with me regarding the status of my case till the end. I can't recommend him highly enough.
Randy D.
14:08 13 Nov 19
Throughout the process of the case, he did an exceptional job. The entire process was extremely smooth and the staff kept me up to date on the status of my case. I give him 5 stars as he is the best legal attorney there is in the greater Illinois area. He truly deserve it.
Regina B.
15:40 11 Nov 19
I just want to thank Mr. Willens for being extremely reliable and diligent. He was able to adequately answer all my questions and concerns. He settled my case rather quickly. I will definitely recommend him to friends and family.
Bernadette F.
15:43 08 Nov 19
I was involved in a bad accident with multiple cars and I was in a terrible shape. Matt Willens handled my case exceptionally. Everyone that helped was also great! he was detailed and clear in all our communication and he always made sure I was aware of everything that was going on throughout my whole case. Really helped me get through a rough time. I am 100% satisfied with the outcome of my case. If you need a good lawyer on your side, look no further!
Laura W.
14:49 06 Nov 19
Willens Law Office handled my accident and they were incredible! Matt drove all the way to see me and I could see he really cared. He handled my injury case from start to finish and I’m now rebuilding the part of my life that I lost. Thanks for your help.
Todd Z.
05:55 11 Oct 19
I was involved in an accident back in last year and was searching for an attorney who looked like I can trust. I found Matt Willens and I am thankful. I called him up just to get a feel for him as a person and I could tell right away that he truly cared, not only about me but my family too. To say that he fought for us would be an understatement. He was ready to go to trial! Luckily we settled and it was for more money than I imagined, especially after my initial talk with the insurance company. Thanks Matt!
Paula D.
13:14 10 Oct 19
Matt Willens went above and beyond for my case. I felt as though he cared more about me and my situation than he did himself and the time that he was required to spend on my case. I highly recommend using him.
Marci P.
13:24 03 Sep 19
It was great to work with this firm. They handled every piece of paperwork. David Baez handled my case. He kept me informed through the whole process and treated me like family. I highly recommend David and the entire firm.
John C.
14:42 16 Aug 19
Willens Law is a firm I trust in because they specialize in personal injury matters. I have had a wonderful experience with Matt WIllens personally and I can say he is pleasant to work with and communicates thoroughly with his clients. I would recommend Willens Law.
Grant V.
05:28 19 Jul 19
I’m rarely compelled to leave a review for anyone but I felt I needed to show my gratitude.From the first time I spoke with Matt Willens on the phone I actually felt like he was there for me, looking after my best interests and not his own. That’s rare in my experience.Matt is an absolute pro and I wouldn’t think to call or recommend anyone else if I or a loved one were injured in the future. Thanks Matt!
Kyle W.
04:16 19 Jul 19
When I first contacted Willens law office, I just wanted to make sure everyone was paid after I was rear ended and I wasn’t the one doing it. My correspondence was primarily with David, he was always patient when I was slow to get him information and ended up calling me with great news after almost a year of back and forth with the at-fault insurance company.I can’t thank David and the Willens law office enough.
Amanda H
18:36 14 Jun 19
Willens Law Office is GREAT! David handled my case. He made me feel like family. He explained everything in detail every step of the way. He fought to get the results that would best benefit me. David is a great attorney. Thanks David and the Willens Law Office family.
Michael S.
17:53 31 May 19
Willens Law came highly recommended after I was badly injured when hit by an out of control car. I in turn most highly recommend Willens Law based on my great experience over the past year and a half.I am very pleased with both the outcome of my case as well as the experience working with Matt Willens and David Baez throughout the process.I had no specific expectation regarding a case outcome, seeking only ‘the best outcome possible.’ I certainly believe my case outcome was a great outcome. And I strongly believe that outcome was a direct result of fantastic work done by Matt and David.From beginning to end Matt and David were great to work with. They did a great job setting expectations; explaining what was to happen, including the why and the how; guiding me through the steps I needed to take; and answering both my “need to know” and “just curious” questions. They were always extremely prompt and clear in their guidance and responses to me.A silver lining in a tough situation was working with Matt and David, both of whom I came to respect professionally and like personally. I do most highly recommend Willens Law to others who may need such services.
18:55 22 May 19
Willens Law Offices is simply the best!!! David handle my case , and was nothing but professional! He is the best at what he do!!!!!Every step of the way, I was informed of my case!!!Thanks again!!
cassandra J.
17:55 26 Mar 19
Great team, did me right, pleasurable experience.
Robert P.
03:34 21 Feb 19
David Baez was prompt and professional in answering all of my questions.
Richard D.
00:19 07 Feb 19
David Baez was very professional, helpful and always kept me informed about my case. David responded quickly to any questions I may of had. I highly recommend Willens Law Offices for any personal injury case. Thanks again David for all the great work you did.
21:39 06 Nov 18
After being in an Uber accident about a year ago, I reached out to Willens Law to assist me through the settlement process. I had the pleasure of working with David Baez. From the start he was very personable and professional. He was always willing to educate me on the process and made sure I understood each step before going forward. Even after receiving my settlement, David has been willing to assist with any questions related to my case. I would highly recommend Willens Law.
Madelyn D.
02:47 05 Oct 18
I reached out to Willens Law Offices following a car accident that my girlfriend and I were involved in, and we met with David Baez for an in-person consultation shortly after. David was very personable and knowledgeable, and gave us confidence and peace of mind in a situation where we felt initially felt completely overwhelmed. There were times when we felt the communication could have been more proactive, but David was always responsive when we felt the need to check-in, even if there were no significant updates on our case. The process took a little longer than anticipated, but David was honest, thorough, and professional throughout.Overall, great experience and I'd recommend to anyone in need. Thank you David!
Geoff B.
20:44 17 Sep 18
After I was injured, and after researching Chicago's best law firms, I found Willens Law and read their reviews. After meeting Matt, I retained their services, along with the special efforts of his Partner, David Baez.They handled my case in a professional, efficient manner, while keeping me regularly informed. We worked incredibly well together, and won a very nice settlement. You would be foolish not to consider Willens Law for your Counsel, as I did. I highly recommend them!Ed Dybas
Ed D.
21:26 07 Sep 18
We had a very positive experience and felt their representation was very effective.
Kent M.
22:43 29 Aug 18
Working with Willens Law was a pleasure. They were responsive and extremely pleasant whenever I had questions or concerns. In my case, I personally took a little longer than I should have to start the process on my end, but David was able to pickup on my delay and process my personal injury case in a timely manner. I would highly recommend Willens Law and David when looking for an attorney to represent you in a case.
Maggie O.
14:07 23 Jul 18
I had a tremendous experience with this law firm, and I would highly recommend them. I had a bicycle injury caused by a negligent Uber car, and when I was first doing research and calling law firms all over the Chicago area to find representation, Matt Willens himself returned my call personally within ten minutes. I found that to be a huge integrity move as every other firm I contacted had a lower level employee call me back. Nothing wrong with that per se, but to have the lawyer whose name is on the door personally return my call meant a hell of a lot to me and was ultimately why I decided to meet with them first.I made an appointment and met Mr. Willens and the fantastic young attorney David Baez in their offices and they were wonderful to deal with. They are down-to-earth, funny, intelligent, tenacious, capable, experienced lawyers who explained the entire process to me in a way I could understand and made me feel comfortable and confident, and we were off and running with my case.I work in a law firm and I know exactly how slowly the wheels of justice turn, and my case was settled in about half the time that these things normally take! Amazing results. Mr. Baez and his team were incredible throughout and kept me informed every step of the way, and negotiated a higher settlement number and a lower fee for the insurance company in the eleventh hour which meant more money in my pocket!! I wholeheartedly recommend this law firm for your personal injury case. They are highly skilled and I couldn't be happier. This organization is fantastic and they will produce results for you.
15:01 05 Jun 18
Matt has been there for us every step of the way. He, personally, has taken the time to answer all of our questions. We never feel like we are bothering him or pestering him. We have only experienced patience and professionalism from both Matt and his team.
Maribeth C.
15:45 03 May 18
David was very good at keeping me up to date with what was going on and helping with every step throughout the entire process. I could not have asked for better representation.
Jennifer B.
21:14 24 Apr 18
David Baez was an excellent representation of the Willens Law Office. He achieved my desired result along with keeping me updated during the entire process. Very fortunate to have him by my side - thank you David.
keith B.
19:29 20 Apr 18
Matt is an impressive attorney and person! Took on State Farm and won for me. Highly recommend Matt for PI cases.
Danielle B.
22:47 10 Apr 18
This Law firm has been very prompt and kind in dealing with my case. I would recommend this law firm to anyone who needs injury lawyers.
F Z.
22:45 10 Apr 18
I used Willens Law for a personal injury claim. Matt was knowledgeable and professional. He also responded quickly which I really appreciated. I would definitely recommend.
Robyn R.
21:44 29 Mar 18
After a bad auto accident, and months of rehab, Matt Willens and his staff worked with me as though they were part of my family. They were professional, courteous and looking out for my best interest during the entire legal process. I would highly recommend Willens Law Offices for any personal injury.
dan B.
19:27 25 Mar 18

What Types of Cases Can Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?

Injured in an Accident? Give Us a Call Today: (312)-957-4166

Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle My Case?

You are not legally required to have a personal injury attorney to handle your injury claim. You could file all the necessary paperwork yourself and represent yourself in court. However, your chances of winning your case and getting the compensation you deserve are much higher if you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Why You Shouldn't Settle Directly With An Insurance Company

Insurance providers will try to get you to settle quickly. In the midst of your crisis, they might offer you what seems like a large dollar amount. The problem is they rarely make an offer of settlement for the true full cost of your damages. Don’t be misled, hospital bills aren’t the only things for which you will need compensation. You also need to keep in mind the suffering and pain associated with your traumatic event. 

Personal Injury Resources

Illinois Personal Injury FAQs

The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Willens Injury Law Offices respond to frequently asked questions related to personal injury, car accidents, medical malpractice, and workers’

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