A 65-year-old woman was struck by a car while walking in the northwest suburb of Glenview midday January 17th, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Police found Janina Kasternek in a drainage ditch along Greenwood Avenue at approximately 11:20 AM. She was rushed to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where she was later pronounced dead shortly before noon. A 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier was found in the drainage ditch on the opposite side of Greenwood. The car contained an 18-year-old male driver and an 18-year-old female passenger, both from Des Plaines. According to the Tribune, the authorities are continuing to investigate the incident.
Most people expect pedestrians to be about during the spring and summer months. However, it is common for people to be seen walking on city streets throughout the year, especially in a big city like Chicago and its surrounding metropolitan area. Grocery stores and other necessities are often within walking distance, and Chicago’s public transportation system allows those without cars to travel further, equating to more people on the streets. Being a pedestrian in the city is dangerous, but being a motorist who hits a pedestrian often means liability for negligence.
Pedestrians Usually Lose in Car Accidents
People walking in the Loop are often barely cognizant of “Don’t Walk” signs. Generally, a cursory glance in both directions (one direction in the case of one-way streets) will provide all of the assurance a pedestrian needs to cross the street. But, not being careful at crosswalks can result in a collision with a car, and the pedestrian will generally come out the worse from the incident.
For one thing, there is nothing to keep the pedestrian in place when struck by a car. While drivers are strapped in by a seatbelt, pedestrians are moored to the ground by gravity alone. If hit head on by a car, a pedestrian will be propelled, whether it be in the direction travelled by the car, or flipped up over the hood and roof. Broken bones, lacerations, brain trauma, and numerous other catastrophic injuries are common when pedestrians are struck.
Pedestrians Almost Always Have the Right of Way
In what should come as no surprise, between a pedestrian and a motorist, a pedestrian almost always has the right of way. This serves the common sense basis that people should feel safe to walk wherever they please, within reason. It also makes sense based on the relative safety of the driver to the passenger, as described earlier. More often than not, if a driver strikes and injures a pedestrian, the driver is at fault and will be liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.