With all of the new technology and safety features in today's motor vehicles, you may think that the roads in Illinois are safer than ever. While the fatality rate has declined since the mid 20th century, it is now on the rise again. Right now, it is especially dangerous for pedestrians.
If you walk along sidewalks or anywhere near a roadway, you need to know that the frequency of hit-and-run pedestrian accidents is alarming many experts. Unfortunately, all of the safety technology in the world does not seem to prevent this terrifying increase of pedestrian deaths.
Pedestrians face decades-old dangers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started tracking fatal hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians back in 1975. As with other forms of motor vehicle accidents, these types of collisions occurred less frequently as the years went on. That is until 2009.
Between 2009 and 2018, fatal hit-and-run pedestrian accidents increased by an astounding 60 percent. In 2016 alone, 2,046 pedestrians were killed after the drivers who struck them fled the scene of the accident.
Why are so many people dying?
This is not an easy question to answer, but experts believe a number of factors are at play. Some common ideas include:
- More drivers traveling greater distances
- An increase in cell phone distraction among drivers and pedestrians
- Booming populations in urban areas
Pedestrian collisions may also spike during periods of milder weather, with fatality rates dropping during colder times of year. However, Halloween is an exception with this annual holiday typically representing a rapid increase in hit-and-runs with pedestrians and then quickly dropping off afterwards.
How can I help my loved one?
Losing a family member in an accident is one of the most difficult experiences you may ever deal with. These types of unexpected deaths are not only emotionally tumultuous, but they often leave surviving family members with overwhelming costs, including medical bills for attempted life-saving care, unexpected funeral expenses and more.
When Illinois police apprehend a hit-and-run driver, he or she will usually face criminal charges. However, this does not mean that you cannot take action as well. Many families choose to pursue wrongful death claims against negligent drivers, holding them financially responsible for the devastation they caused. If you are interested in learning more about such options, you may wish to obtain information from local legal resources.