Why are Deaths from Pedestrian Accidents in Illinois Increasing?

On Sunday, March 3, 2024, a pedestrian was fatally injured after being struck in a hit and run accident in Chicago. The police stated that a man was in the street when he was struck by a dark-colored SUV that continued driving westbound on Marquette Road in Chicago Lawn. Despite their vigilant investigation, police do not currently have anyone in custody.

On Sunday, February 25, 2024, an elderly couple were killed in the City of Chicago after being struck by a pickup truck while crossing the street to go to church. According to the police, the elderly couple was in the crosswalk when they were struck by a Ford F150 pickup truck. The pickup truck was seen on security video making a left before knocking the couple down to the ground while they were in the crosswalk. After the collision, the pedestrians were taken to local hospitals, where they later succumbed to their injuries. The pickup truck driver was given a citation for failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

According to a preliminary report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths in Illinois increased in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2022, showing an increase of 8.79 percent. The report stated that the highest pedestrian fatalities occurred in California, Florida, and Texas, which accounted for 37% of all pedestrian deaths in the United States in the first six months of 2023. The report surmised that these states had higher fatalities because they tend to have warmer climates which prompt more people to walk rather than drive, and have pockets of larger urban centers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently instituted a Safe System Approach to address safety concerns involving pedestrians. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 75% of pedestrian fatalities occur at a mid-block crossing (in both marked crosswalks and unmarked crosswalks), not at an intersection. The U.S. Department of Transportation also cited higher vehicle speeds as the reason for the increase in pedestrian fatalities, noting that the higher a vehicle’s speed, the  longer it will take to stop, and the more force it will exert on a body at impact. In its Safe System Approach, the U.S. Department of Transportation recommended that speed limits should be set at reasonable limits in areas where vehicles share the road with pedestrians and enforced equitably.


As part of its Safe System Approach, the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends the following to reduce pedestrian accidents:

  • Update crosswalks and signage to include reflective materials
  • Equip vehicles with safety features, such as automatic emergency braking, front and rear cross traffic protection, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure protection
  • Installing speed bumps or raised crosswalks to reduce speeding vehicles
  • Removing visual obstacles where people cross the roadways
  • Incorporating lighting at pedestrian crossways

Being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian can be dangerous and scary. The costs of treating those injuries can easily add up. If you or a loved one has been struck by a vehicle while walking in a parking lot or crossing the street, contact the Naperville car accident attorney John Malm at John J. Malm & Associates to learn more about how you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.


IMG_7305-234x300About the Author: Rachel Legorreta is an associate with the law firm of John J. Malm & Associates, where she focuses her practice on personal injury litigation. She graduated magna cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law and is the current Editor-in-Chief of the DCBA Brief.

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