Urban driving can be very dangerous, even to the most experienced drivers. The dense population and heavy traffic in urban areas like Chicago create a unique set of challenges for drivers.
While there’ s many things to love about living in Chicago, the traffic isn’t one of them. Although many people associate accidents with highway driving, many accidents occur on the city’s busy streets. Devastating car accidents in Chicago neighborhoods are all too frequent an occurrence.
Why Is City Driving More Dangerous than Country Driving?
There are a number of factors that contribute to the danger of urban driving compared to rural driving.
High Volume of Cars on the Road
The first is the sheer number of cars on the road. According to the Illinois Secretary of State, in Chicago, there are more than 1.1 million registered vehicles, and many of them are on the road at any given time. The high volume of traffic increases the chances of an accident occurring.
Aggressive Drivers and Speeding
Another factor is the speed of traffic. In urban areas, drivers are often trying to get from one place to another as quickly as possible. This can lead to aggressive driving and speeding, both of which increase the chances of an accident.
Pedestrians and Traffic
Finally, the close proximity of cars and pedestrians in urban areas can be a recipe for disaster. When drivers are not paying attention, they can easily hit a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Common Causes of Devastating Accidents on City Roads
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a devastating car accident while driving in Chicago’s high traffic areas on urban roads. Here are some common causes of car crashes and how to avoid them:
Unseasoned drivers: Chicago has seen a resurgence of post-pandemic lockdown tourism. The Office of the Mayor has reported an 86% increase in tourism in 2021 over the number of visitors in 2020. This amounts to 30.7 million people visiting Chicago. With this many visitors, it means that many of the drivers on the road aren’t familiar with the area, so it’s especially important to be alert to drivers making quick stops or unexpected changes in direction.
Distracted drivers: In addition to passengers, cell phones, music, maps, and cars with touch screen interfaces, drivers in Chicago can also be distracted by its beautiful architecture and other tourist destinations. Be especially vigilant around tourist hot spots in the city.
Pedestrians: Just like drivers, pedestrians can be distracted, impatient, or unpredictable. Be attentive at intersections and watch out for jaywalkers.
Special event traffic: From the Chicago marathon to a game at United Center, Chicago always has something interesting happening. Be especially careful when driving to and from special events and, when possible, plan your route to avoid special event traffic.
Parking: Finding a parking spot in Chicago can sometimes feel like a game of chicken. Be patient and don’t try to squeeze into a tight spot. It’s not worth the risk of hitting another car or pedestrian.
Alleys and parking garages: Many of Chicago’s streets are narrow and vehicles may enter the flow of traffic from unexpected places. Be careful when exiting parking garages and using alleys.
Accidents can happen to even the most alert drivers. While urban driving accidents don’t occur at high speeds, they can result in property damage and personal injury. If you experience an accident, contact The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident & Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer.
How to Avoid Becoming a City Driving Accident Statistic
So what else can you do to avoid becoming a statistic? The first step is to be aware of the dangers of urban driving. Pay attention to your surroundings and drive defensively. Be extra cautious when making turns and changing lanes, and always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
If you can, avoid driving during rush hour when traffic is at its heaviest. And if you find yourself in a situation where someone is driving aggressively or erratically, don’t hesitate to call the police.
By following these simple tips, you can help make Chicago’s streets a little bit safer for everyone.
Tips for Staying Safe While Driving in Chicago
Traffic in the roadways in Chicago can be dangerous if you travel under the wrong conditions. Still, many people travel through Chicago every day without a problem. If you are concerned about the traffic and problems on the roadway, then you need to do what you can to minimize the danger. Here are several tips for staying safe while driving in Chicago.
Avoid Driving During Rush Hour
One of the easiest ways to reduce your risk while driving in Chicago is to avoid driving during rush hour. Rush hour traffic is heavily congested, and most people are in a rush to get to work or to get home from work.
This creates dangerous conditions because roadways are completely full and packed with aggressive drivers. The more you can avoid rush-hour, the less congestion you will have to deal with. That means that you will be able to get where you were going at a reasonable pace and have fewer cars on the road to worry about. The stress of driving will also be significantly reduced.
Be Familiar with Where You’re Driving
Another way to avoid problems is to know where you’re going. If you are familiar with the road that you were planning on traveling on, you will have a general idea of what hazards are already there. Knowing the roadway also helps you dive more confidently and be less likely to make a mistake.
Navigating in and around areas that you were familiar with also lets you take detours and other shortcuts to avoid many of the problems on the roadway. So, be sure to review your route on your favorite map app before starting off. Don’t count on the voice giving you directions to give you enough warning ahead of your turns or exits.
Consider Public Transportation
Minimizing the number of people on the road can help relieve traffic safety concerns. If you can take public transportation, then consider it. You won’t have to drive in dangerous conditions, worry about parking, and lower your travel costs.
In some cases, it will even be faster than city driving because you can use the dedicated bus lanes and other routes that are only available to public transportation. So, take a look at the options that are available in your area and try them out.
Use Defensive Driving Techniques
Defensive driving is always a good idea but is essential when driving in Chicago. You need to be aware of the hazards around you and be ready to take action if other drivers make a mistake. That might mean yielding the right of way, slowing down, or even coming to a stop. By being aware of what is happening around you and taking defensive driving measures, you can help avoid many city driving accidents.
Stay Focused on Driving
It can be easy to get distracted when driving, especially with all of the technology available in modern vehicles. But you need to stay focused on the task at hand, which is driving. That means putting away your phone and not fiddling with the controls on your vehicle. If you must use your phone, then pull over to a safe location first. And, if you need to adjust something in your car, then do it before starting your trip or when you are stopped at a light. Stay alert even if you are stuck in stop and go traffic.
Obey the Speed Limit
One of the most significant dangers on the road is speeding. Many people exceed the speed limits because they are in a hurry or because they think that they can make up time by driving faster. But speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents, and it is especially dangerous in urban areas. And thanks to Chicago’s red light cameras, even going a little bit over the speed limit can land you a fine.
There are also more pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders, and other vehicles to worry about, and speed increases the severity of any accident that does happen. So, obey the posted speed limits, even if you are in a hurry.
How to Get Help When You Most Need It
When you’re doing city driving, remember to drive defensively, be aware of your surroundings, and stay focused on the task at hand to help avoid accidents.
And remember, if you are ever seriously injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call a personal injury lawyer at The Kryder Law Group, LLC . We will help you get the compensation that you deserve.