Chicago kids are often hit by cars near schools
Chicago has a higher incidence of children hit near schools than many other major metropolitan areas even after the City of Chicago has tried to implement certain safeguards such as, pedestrian safety programs, stricter enforcement of laws and trying to reduce the level of traffic in these areas.
Over a five-year period, about 3,630 vehicle-pedestrian crashes in Chicago involved injuries to youths, with about half of them occurring within a block of a school, according to an analysis of accident data conducted by the Chicago Tribune.
The data shows that there has been no reduction in injuries since a previous study found that children are involved in pedestrian accidents more often than adults.
When we consider automobile safety, we must remember that pedestrians are much more vulnerable than motorists to serious injury or even death, and children on foot are the most vulnerable of all.
The data studied was from 2007 to 2011. Analysts found that almost 1,700 young people were struck by cars within about one block from a school during that period. Overall, there were approximately 16,500 crashes involving a vehicle and a pedestrian over those five years, with about 22 percent resulting in an injury to a child. About half of those crashes were near schools.
Chicago saw pedestrian deaths reach a 17-year low of 32 in 2010; the total included eight children. However, the Chicago Police Department released a preliminary figure of 48 pedestrian fatalities for 2012. City officials have introduced measures such as heightened traffic law enforcement, strategies to calm traffic and a program to promote pedestrian safety.
For many years, crashes involving pedestrians and vehicles have totaled about 3,000 annually in Chicago, with the vast majority occurring at or near crosswalks. According to available data, more vehicle-pedestrian collisions involving young people take place on the South and West sides, than in other areas of the city. Although these neighborhoods have less foot traffic than central business districts, traffic speeds are higher and there is a lot of high-speed traffic from suburban commuters passing through on their way downtown.