Cities, villages, townships, and neighborhoods in Illinois install sidewalks in an effort to prevent pedestrian-auto accidents. The idea is that if vehicles and pedestrians can each occupy their own stretch of pavement, the number of spots where they share the roadway is reduced – and the likelihood of these types of accidents decreases.But what happens when a sidewalk is impassable at a given location due to weather?Unfortunately, this problem may have contributed to pedestrian-car accident in a Cook County township. Early last Friday morning, three pedestrians were walking on Touhy Avenue near the intersection of Harts Road, which borders a forest preserve. The trio was walking in the roadway because the sidewalks were reportedly impassable due to weather conditions. Around 1:30am, a vehicle sideswiped one of the pedestrians and then fled the scene. A 20-year old man from Chicago was hospitalized in stable condition. The two other individuals were not struck by the vehicle.Obviously, the fact that the vehicle fled the scene will bolster the argument that the driver was mostly or completely at fault in the pedestrian-auto accident. This would mean that the victim would have strong grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, through which he could recoup medical expenses, wages lost from work absenteeism, and perhaps compensation for other damages.But if we put aside the hit-and-run aspect of this incident for a moment, the case could be made that the pedestrian may have been partially at fault for walking in the roadway (in the dark, as well) – even though the sidewalk was “impassable.” Weather conditions aside, pedestrians still have a duty to walk outside of the roadway when possible – even if it means trudging through snow or navigating icy pavement. If sidewalks are indeed impassable, then pedestrians should either take another route that is safer – or at least leave the roadway when a vehicle passes by.