Deadly pedestrian accidents linked to driver distraction

For Illinois pedestrians, the consequences of distracted driving can be deadly. Both distracted driving and the number of pedestrian deaths due to motor vehicle accidents has been on the rise. While experts say that cars have become safer, the popularity of SUVs means that many vehicles sit higher on the road, potentially leading to more dangerous pedestrian impacts. In fact, pedestrian fatalities have shot up by 49 percent since 2009, which is well above the 11 percent increase in overall traffic fatalities.

Smartphones are perhaps the most well-known and common causes of distracted driving. Because these devices are now so ubiquitous, almost everyone has a smartphone that's ready to chime in with news of incoming text messages and emails. The allure of the devices can all too easily distract a driver's eyes and mind from the roadway, potentially leading to devastating and even fatal car crashes. In 2007, 17,851 people went to the emergency room across the United States in incidents related to mobile phone use. In 2016, that number grew to 32,755.

However, distracted driving is not just limited to cell phone usage. Even the built-in entertainment and information systems inside many newer vehicles can distract a driver from the roadway. Offering a range of navigation, music and other options, including hands-free texts and calls, these systems can require extensive touchscreen interaction.

When pedestrians are involved in distracted driving accidents, the consequences can be particularly devastating and deadly. Because pedestrians do not have the protective shell of a car, it is far easier for them to lose their lives in a crash. An attorney can help the victim of a pedestrian accident caused by driver negligence pursue compensation for their losses.

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