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The dangers of walking or riding a bike around the city

Chicago is a walking city. If you live outside the city and head in daily for work, you know all too well the dangers lurking on city streets. According to new statistics, the hazards to pedestrians in and around the city keep climbing.

What do you need to know when out for a stroll on a city or even rural road in Illinois?

Deaths almost double

In 2017, 47 people died in pedestrian accidents in Chicago, up from 27 deaths in 2013. Chicago is not the only place with a steep increase in fatalities over the same period. Across the country, pedestrian deaths and injuries seem to climb year over year.

Distractions a significant factor

It is too easy these days to get distracted by smartphones. Internet videos showing people falling while attempting to text and walk have gone. However, walking and texting is a major distraction, and when you cross a street, falling or failing to pay attention has horrific consequences.

The transportation department reports that an increase in vehicles and speeding account, in part, for the staggering figure. Distracted driving due to in-car electronics is climbing and one of the primary causes of motor vehicle accidents nationwide.

The city's plan

In response to the increasing fatalities, city officials developed the Vision Zero plan. The program encourages drivers to sign a pledge that promises, in part:

  • To obey the posted speed limit
  • To watch out for pedestrians and cyclists at all times
  • To follow traffic control devices such as red lights and stop signs
  • To slow down approaching crosswalks and come to a full stop if a pedestrian is present
  • To keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road

The program also calls for infrastructure improvements in areas with a high number of pedestrians. These upgrades include extending bump-outs at intersections to decrease the distance pedestrians cross a street unguarded.

Keeping an eye out, whether you walk, bike or drive is imperative to improving pedestrian safety. Paying attention is an integral part of staying safe while enjoying the city.

  1. "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....
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    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.
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  6. "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.
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  7. "They went to bat for me"

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