Safety Concerns Posed By People Attempting To Walk In Crosswalks

As previously discussed on this site, pedestrian accidents involving people who are walking in crosswalks at the time of the collision happen on a regular basis in the Chicago area.  As such, one question that has arisen is whether crosswalks offer a “false sense of security” for pedestrians.

This issue of pedestrian safety as it pertains to crosswalk use is of great importance. As seen in many pedestrian accidents summarized on this site a broad range of injuries, many serious, can occur when a person is hit by a car or other vehicle.   Many of these pedestrian accidents have led to fatal injuries.

The issue of pedestrian safety as it pertains to crosswalks is discussed in the December 18, 2017 Daily Herald article (with video) titled “Walk at your own risk:  Drivers oblivious to suburban crosswalks.”  The article discusses various aspects of Illinois crosswalk use, as well as various problematical issues that are presented to those who attempt to cross streets in crosswalks.  Among these problems is that cars don’t necessarily stop or slow down if pedestrians are at or in crosswalks, and that overall the situation is in many instances dangerous to walkers.

An excerpt from the article:

The zebra stripes and neon yellow sign invite you to cross. Drivers are supposed — indeed legally required — to stop. And yet, when Daily Herald journalists tested out suburban crosswalks, they found a survival-of-the fittest scenario with pedestrians on the losing side.

Illinois law requires drivers to stop for people within crosswalks and obligates pedestrians to take caution and not walk into the path of oncoming traffic.

But Daily Herald staff members not only encountered drivers who sped through crosswalks as they walked through, but they also experienced high-volume traffic that made it perilous to step onto the zebra stripes.


The Active Transportation Alliance studied crossing safety in 2014 and found 78 percent of all pedestrian crashes in Chicago occur within 125 feet of an intersection, and that older pedestrians are most at risk in crosswalks.

“People are not aware of the law, and our streets are designed in a way that encourages people to speed and drive recklessly,” said Kyle Whitehead, the alliance’s government relations director.

As seen in the article, among those Cook County crosswalks that are considered to be “Risky crosswalks” are those at Central Road and Emerson Street in Mount Prospect; Landmeier and Wildwood Roads in Elk Grove Village; Algonquin Road and Southwest Place in Des Plaines; Kirchoff Road and Oriole Lane in Rolling Meadows; Busse Road and Lonnquist Avenue in Mount Prospect; and Rohlwing Road and Kenilworth Avenue in Palatine.

Additional details and additional information concerning this crosswalk safety issue can be seen in the sources mentioned above.


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