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Study Shows Illinois Drivers Are Ignoring Crosswalk Laws

Posted on in Car Accidents

crosswalk laws, Illinois bicycle accident attorney, Illinois drivers, Illinois pedestrian accident attorney, Illinois pedestrian and bicycle accident attorneys, motor vehicle accident, traffic offensesCars, pedestrians, and bicycles must all share the road and abide by the rules of the road. However, drivers often act as if they have the right of way and disregard any pedestrian or bicyclist. The results can be devastating for the pedestrian or bicyclist, and may include severe and permanent injuries or even death.

Accidents between drivers and pedestrians or bicyclists may occur because the driver is distracted or is disregarding traffic laws. When the driver operates a car negligently or recklessly, he or she can be liable for injuries caused during the accident. Given the potential for life-threatening injuries from a car and pedestrian accident, one would think that drivers would operate cars more carefully. This, however, does not appear to be the case.

Illinois Drivers and Crosswalk Laws

A recent study confirms that many Illinois drivers disregard crosswalk laws. The Active Transportation Alliance, an automobile-alternative advocacy group, found that motorists in the Chicago-area “disregard a state crosswalk protection law more often than they comply with it in many circumstances.”

The study looked at certain areas in Chicago and surrounding areas. At painted crosswalks that had other safety features, 61 percent of motorists stopped for pedestrians. When a pedestrian attempted to cross a street with just a traditional crosswalk, a driver would stop only about 18 percent of the time.

At unmarked crosswalks, drivers stopped only about 5 percent of the time. Under Illinois law, if a sidewalk leads into the street, a crosswalk exists and drivers must stop, even if there is no painted sidewalk, sign or light. Many drivers seem to be unaware of this law.

What Does This Study Mean for Drivers and Pedestrians?

According to Ron Burke, executive director of the Alliance, he believes that the reason for such a low compliance rate is that many drivers are simply unaware of the 2010 law that requires drivers to stop for, rather than yield to, pedestrians. In addition, he also believes that a lack of consistent enforcement from the police department is also to blame.

According to the Chicago Tribune article, officials hope to stop half of serious pedestrian injuries in the following five years. The Chicago Police Department plans to accomplish this through enforcement stings at intersections and issuing fines to drivers who fail to stop.

It may be unrealistic for signs and safety features to be installed at every crosswalk. It therefore appears that the best way to avoid these types of accidents is through increased traffic law awareness. Unfortunately, there will always be drivers who disregard the traffic laws and place the lives of pedestrians and bicyclists at risk.

Contact an Accident Attorney for Help

If you have been injured by a motor vehicle, our Illinois pedestrian and bicycle accident attorneys can help you. We have experience investigating and prosecuting claims on behalf of pedestrians and bicyclists injured by motor vehicles. The injuries that you experience from a collision with a motor vehicle can be devastating. We want to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. We provide services throughout McHenry, Cook, Lake DeKalb, Boone, Kane, and Winnebago County. You can visit our firm in Crystal Lake or call us today for a free initial consultation.
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