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Illinois Laws Regarding Pedestrian-Related Accidents

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Big cities like Chicago are prone to road accidents due to heavy traffic, including heavy rush of pedestrians and vehicles downtown.

Illinois Laws Regarding Pedestrian-Related Accidents

Illinois witnessed a total of 4,930 pedestrian-related accidents in 2012, according to the Illinois Crash Facts Statistics. Of those accidents, 139 reported fatalities and 4,665 reported some kind of injuries.

Big cities, like Chicago, are prone to road accidents due to heavy traffic, including heavy rush of pedestrians and vehicles downtown. It is no wonder then that so many auto accidents involving pedestrians occur. In fact, the Central Business District of Chicago, which includes most parts of the Near North Side and Loop Chicago area, witnessed most of the pedestrian-related accidents in 2012, says the Illinois Crash Facts Statistics. This is because block lengths in the Chicago Business District are shorter than many other parts of the city. Moreover, there is heavy rush of business travelers, local people, and tourists in that area. The 2012 report identified five areas more prone to accidents involving pedestrians. Those five spots are as follows:

  • Michigan Ave. between Chicago Ave & Oak Street
  • Dearborn St. between Ohio St. & Huron St.
  • Columbus/Fairbanks between Water St. & Ontario St.
  • Canal St. between Jackson & Washington St.
  • Jackson St. between Clark St. & Wabash Ave.

Some major reasons for pedestrian-related accidents in Illinois area include hit and run, drivers taking a wrong turn, and drivers not yielding to pedestrians, says the 2012 report. It was also revealed that drivers turning left caused double the number accidents caused by drivers turning right. Moreover, around 78 percent of all pedestrian-related accidents took place at an intersection, and in most cases, the pedestrian was hit when he or she was trying to cross with a signal, according to the report.

Rights and Duties of Pedestrians under Illinois Traffic Laws

In Illinois, pedestrians have the right-of-way at all crosswalks. When pedestrian crosses a road with a signal through a crosswalk, the driver of a car must yield to the pedestrian’s the right-of-way. On the other hand, it is unlawful for the pedestrians to cross a road outside of a crosswalk at an intersection. However, even when pedestrian crosses a road unlawfully outside of a crosswalk, drivers still have a responsibility to avoid a collision with the pedestrian.

Under Illinois laws, pedestrians crossing through an unmarked crosswalk have the same legal rights as others who would cross through marked crosswalks at an intersection. In the state of Illinois, pedestrians have the right-of-way over any vehicles stopped at an intersection (that has a crosswalk) by red a signal or a flashing red signal.

Moreover, Illinois law mandates that every pedestrian crossing a roadway within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection or outside of a marked crosswalk must yield the right of way to the vehicles on the road. The law also requires that every driver of any vehicle on the road must be careful to avoid collision with any pedestrian on any parts of the road.

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