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Last year, over 7,500 pedestrians tragically lost their lives while walking on roads. The number of fatalities shot up a whopping 77%, hitting a 40-year high.
What’s behind this disturbing trend? One major factor is the proliferation of massive trucks and SUVs. They are bigger and bulkier than their predecessors, making them harder for drivers to handle and causing huge blind spots in the front and rear. They need more time to stop and maneuver because of their size and weight.
In addition to a truck’s size, the condition of the driver may be a factor in an accident. If he or she is tired, physically impaired or distracted, a crash is more likely to occur. Even the weather or the condition of urban streets can lead to serious accidents. Despite efforts by metropolitan areas like Chicago to make roads more pedestrian-friendly, experts say not enough has been done to bring down the number of pedestrian deaths. There have been 25 pedestrian deaths this year in Chicago alone, according to Chicago Police data.
To their credit, most cities and states are starting to rethink how they design their streets and roadways, with a focus on slowing down traffic, improving public transportation and getting serious about traffic law enforcement.
Most truck accidents occur during the day. A total of 79% of truck crashes occurred in the daytime compared with just 20.4% at night, statistics show. But some of them do happen after dark. Though a passenger car was the striking vehicle in 35 percent of deaths, a truck was the vehicle in 40 percent of deaths.
Rural and broad suburban roads are popular with big-rig truckers after dark but present risks to drivers and especially to those on foot. In 2021, most pedestrian deaths happened after dark on roads where there were no sidewalks.
If you’re in an accident where a truck was involved, contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer with extensive experience representing victims of transportation-related accidents. Our trucking and pedestrian accident lawyers are available for a free consultation. Contact us today.
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