Chicago is one of the most exciting, busy, and spectacular cities in the world. Unfortunately, busy metros are known for having intense, often dangerous roadways. To stay safe while navigating Chicago’s streets, you must educate yourself about the common triggers that lead to car accidents. Here are five car accident triggers that you should always do your best to avoid when driving in Chicago:
1. Fatigued Driving
Contrary to popular belief, fatigue is a considerably more frequent contributor to auto accidents in the US than people imagine. Chicago is a city full of busy people, so the chances of interacting with fatigued drivers when you’re behind the wheel are unfortunately reasonably high. Hundreds of thousands of vehicle accidents involving drivers who are too fatigued to drive safely happen every single year in the US, leading to severe injuries (and even death). Weary drivers frequently have reduced reaction times, endangering both themselves and other people trying to react to their dangerous driving behavior. A tired motorist also runs the risk of nodding off behind the wheel, which can lead to huge pile-ups, running off the road, and more. In a busy city like Chicago, motorists who doze off can quickly put many people in danger. If you find yourself in an car accident, you must contact a Chicago car accident lawyer immediately.
2. Exceeding the Speed Limit
Speeding is one of the top three causes of vehicle accidents in the US and leads to dangerous scenarios where people have little-to-no reaction time to deal with speeding drivers. When drivers are pressed for time, it may be tempting to go over the posted speed limit, but the consequences can be disastrous, and lead to legal consequences that haunt the driver for the rest of their life. When moving at a high rate of speed, not only does it take longer for vehicles to slow down or halt, but accident damage is often much more severe. Following the speed limit is crucial, as civil engineers do extensive driving and safety tests to ensure what the ideal speed limit is for every road (especially in a massively busy city like Chicago).
3. Intoxicated Driving
Drivers who decide to get behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol cause grisly, tragic accidents across the nation every single day. Unfortunately, a startling number of car accidents involving drivers who are impaired by their own over-the-counter or prescription medications happen every year as well, so knowing whether or not it’s safe to drive on your medication is critical. When you get behind the wheel under the influence, even if it’s under the influence of a legally prescribed drug, you’re putting yourself in massive legal and physical danger. The more we’re able to cut down on DUIs, the safer our roads become. Because Chicago is such a tourist-heavy city, and because it’s so densely populated, the city, unfortunately, deals with a fairly high rate of DUIs every year.
4. Failing to Follow Traffic Laws
Keep in mind that traffic regulations are put in place to keep you, and everyone around the roadways, safe. Similar to speeding laws, civil engineers spend many hours formulating traffic laws that will keep people from causing dangerous driving scenarios. To assist reduce the danger of being involved in an automobile accident, follow traffic signs and signals and refrain from driving faster than the posted speed limits at all times. Chicago has some unique traffic laws, so educating yourself about them before hitting the road is key. Doing so will not only keep the roads safe but will ensure that you stay out of legal jeopardy as well.
5. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving remains one of the biggest dangers Chicago deals with day-to-day. Many studies show that more than half of accidents in Chicago deal with distracted driving elements in some way or another, so keeping aware of your surroundings at all times is key when you’re behind the wheel in the Windy City. While using a cell phone while driving is now prohibited in many jurisdictions, including Illinois, other distractions like loud music, changing the radio or another electronic gadget, rubbernecking, and even distractions brought on by other passengers still pose a danger. The more you know about laws surrounding distracted driving, the more carefully you can navigate Chicago’s busy roadways.
Keep Chicago Safe in 2023
The more aware you are on Chicago roadways, the better you’ll be at helping to prevent accidents. Even if you feel as though you’re a star driver, it’s useful to reeducate yourself now and then about safe driving practices. When you’re driving in a huge, new city for the first time, you need to take extra precautions to prevent accidents.