Some of the most dangerous intersections in Chicago include East 79th Street & South Stony Island Avenue, East 95th Street & South Stony Island Avenue, and West Garfield Boulevard & South Wentworth Avenue. These are three of many dangerous intersections in the Windy City, where many motor vehicles and pedestrians come in close contact on a regular basis.
While certain intersections in Chicago are more dangerous than others (statistically speaking), any intersection can be the site of a motor vehicle collision or pedestrian accident. If you or a loved one suffer injuries at an intersection or anywhere else in Chicago, meet with an experienced Chicago pedestrian accident attorney who will fight for fair compensation for you from liable parties.
Intersections Can Be More Dangerous Than Other Areas of the Roadway
More than half of accidents resulting in injury or death occur at intersections. Even though the intersections detailed above are particularly dangerous, we know that intersections, in general, pose hazards that lead to:
- Collisions between motor vehicles
- Collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians
- Collisions between motor vehicles and bicyclists
- Single-person collisions caused by one party avoiding another (like a vehicle swerving to avoid a bicyclist or vice versa)
There are several reasons why intersections are particularly dangerous and prone to accidents.
Why Are Intersections So Dangerous?
Intersections can be more dangerous than other areas of the roadway because:
- Motorists and pedestrians are in close quarters: There are many intersections in Chicago where pedestrians, motor vehicles, and bicyclists are in close proximity. In fact, there are many cases where pedestrians and bicyclists must cross directly in front of oncoming or stopped motor vehicles. This increases the likelihood that a motorist will strike a pedestrian or bicyclist.
- Motorists are traveling in opposing directions: Intersections are where motorists traveling in a north-south direction meet motorists crossing in an east-west direction. If all parties do not obey the traffic laws, there is a possibility that motorists traveling in opposing directions will collide. These accidents can be particularly high-impact, severe collisions.
- Motorists can become impatient at intersections: Rather than open roads without traffic lights or stop signs, intersections often require motorists to wait. A waiting motorist may become impatient and, therefore, inclined to run a red light or engage in other dangerous actions. Such dangerous accidents can cause collisions.
- Intersections can be especially chaotic: When traveling on the highway, you must generally worry about the vehicles traveling in the same direction. At intersections, you may need to also concern yourself with vehicles crossing in other directions, pedestrians, bicyclists, traffic signals, and other distractions. The general chaos that may be present at intersections represents an accident risk.
These and other factors help explain why a disproportionate number of auto and pedestrian accidents happen at intersections. Yet, even with these hazards, municipalities, motorists, and pedestrians have to prevent collisions at intersections. When they fail to do so and you suffer injuries, a Chicago traffic accident lawyer is ready to help.
Specific Aspects of Chicago May Make Intersections Particularly Dangerous
Not every city or intersection presents the same degree of danger. Chicago has several features that may increase the danger at many of its intersections, and these features include:
- A rise in traffic congestion: A report published in 2023 found that Chicago had the most congested traffic in North America. High traffic volume may prevent drivers from maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, cause impatience that leads to reckless actions, and increase the likelihood of accidents.
- A relatively large, concentrated population: Chicago is among the ten most populous cities in the United States, meaning there is a high volume of motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists operating on its streets. The more crowded the streets are, the more opportunities for accidents to occur.
- Winter weather: Chicago’s winters present added hazards, including snow and ice, that can lead to intersection accidents.
- Frequent construction: The large number of residents in Chicago means that road maintenance and expansion are constant necessities. Construction can make intersections even more confusing and may add to the accident risk at any given time or place.
- Imperfect maintenance of traffic signals: Chicago is not perfect for ensuring adequate and operational signage and traffic signals. Such failures may also heighten the risk of intersection accidents.
Even with these hazards in the Windy City, everyone who manages or navigates Chicago’s roadways has a duty to act responsibly. Those who fail to exercise their duty of care and cause an accident should expect to be held financially responsible for their negligence.
What Should the City of Chicago Do to Make Intersections Less Dangerous?
Municipalities, including large cities like Chicago, can take active measures to reduce the likelihood of intersection collisions. Some preventative measures that Chicago’s leaders should take include:
Ensuring the Proper Function of Traffic Lights
The management of traffic signals falls upon city officials. If a defective traffic signal contributes to an accident at an intersection, the city may be financially liable for victims’ damages.
Installing Adequate Signage at Intersections and Roundabouts
Signs can help prevent accidents, and these signs may include:
- Stop signs
- Yield signs
- Pedestrian crossing signs
- Roundabout-related signage
When signs are absent or have fallen, confusion and accidents often result.
Marking Lanes Clearly
Motorists, bicyclists and those crossing the street often use lane markings to avoid colliding with others. If markings for vehicle lanes, bicycle lanes, or crosswalks are absent, incomplete, or faded, those inadequate markings may contribute to an accident.
Installing Bright Lighting at All Intersections
Lights are essential to help avoid nighttime intersection accidents. If an intersection does not have adequate lighting, then:
- Motorists may not see a pedestrian or bicyclist crossing the stress in front of them
- Bicyclists and pedestrians may be more likely to collide
- Motorists may hesitate or otherwise act in ways that cause danger because they are not certain of their surroundings
The City of Chicago may generally be liable when poor lighting conditions lead to intersection accidents, though other parties can also be liable.
Taking Measures to Reduce Traffic Bottlenecks
The very design of streets and intersections may pose a danger. If the city has not taken measures to reduce traffic, confusion, or other hazards at an intersection where you were involved in an accident, the city’s failure may qualify as negligence.
These are just some of the many safety-related steps authorities must take to protect motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians at intersections. The city may be liable for your damages if the City of Chicago or any other authority allowed dangerous conditions that led to your accident.
What Must Motorists Do to Avoid Causing Intersection Accidents?
Motorists also have a duty to avoid causing intersection accidents, even in the most chaotic circumstances. Motorists can reduce the accident risk by:
- Refraining from driving while intoxicated or under the influence of prescribed or illicit drugs
- Exercising defensiveness and caution at all times, particularly during uncertain situations at an intersection
- Obeying all traffic signals, including stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights
- Giving the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists
- Obeying speed limits and other road rules
Motorists must also ensure their vehicle is in good working condition. Blown tires, failed brakes, and other hazards caused by vehicle neglect can cause intersection accidents.
Why Hiring a Chicago Auto Accident Lawyer is in Your Best Interest
There are many reasons you should find the right law firm for your case as soon as possible.
Your Health Must Be the Priority
The right car accident attorneys encourage every auto accident victim to prioritize their health. If you do not hire a lawyer to handle your claim or lawsuit, you may:
- Face physical demands that you are not prepared to handle
- Face immense stress related to your case
- Have to relive the details of your accident, which may be distressing
- Suffer adverse health outcomes because you chose to handle your case
A law firm will handle the physical and cognitive demands of your case. You may have more time and energy to focus on recovery while the legal team leads your claim or lawsuit.
An Attorney Provides Total Financial Backing for Your Case
Car accident law firms in Chicago provide financial relief by:
- Paying the cost of completing your case
- Paying for resources that you might not otherwise afford, including the services of experts
- Tying legal fees to the outcome of your case, as they will only receive payment if they successfully obtain compensation for you
Most Chicago car accident attorneys structure their fees knowing that many accident victims in Chicago cannot afford to hire a lawyer. This is one of the many ways they seek to support you in the wake of your intersection collision.
Lawyers Offer Valuable Legal Training and Experience
Trusted attorneys are well-trained and experienced in handling intersection accident cases. They know how to complete insurance claims and lawsuits, and their experience helps them anticipate what your case will require.
Insurance Companies Often Fight to Avoid Paying Accident Victims Fairly
While your attorney may ultimately secure compensation from insurance companies, they don’t expect the process to be easy. In fact, insurance companies may:
- Blame you for the accident in an attempt to pay less money than you deserve
- Misrepresent the details of insurance policies
- Fail to secure evidence that proves you did not cause the accident
- Offer a lowball settlement
- Negotiate fiercely to pay you as little as possible
Car accident lawyers know these tactics and how to combat them.
Damages Your Lawyer Will Seek
Attorneys intend to secure compensation covering all of your accident-related damages, including:
If any of your property sustained damage during the accident, we will calculate the cost of repairing or replacing the property. This includes any necessary repair or replacement of your vehicle, bicycle, or other personal property.
Pain and Suffering
Most of our clients experience pain and suffering because of their accidents, including:
- Mood and personality changes
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep problems
- Lost quality of life
- Physical pain
These are only a few of the many types of pain and suffering attorneys have witnessed in auto accident victims. A law firm’s relationship with mental health professionals in Chicago will allow the prompt diagnosis of your pain and suffering.
Your lawyer will include all of your accident-related medical bills in your case. These bills can be especially costly if you have a serious injury.
They work with doctors and other qualified medical professionals to calculate the exact cost of your past and future medical needs.
If your injuries interfere with your work, you may suffer:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Lost chances for bonuses
- Lost progress toward promotions
- Psychological problems because you can’t work and provide financial stability for yourself
Car accident lawyers will work with you and their qualified network of experts to determine the professional cost of your intersection accident in Chicago.
They can also represent those who have lost loved ones because of accidents at intersections, and these cases are particularly important because of the gravity of a wrongful death.
Call a Chicago Car Accident Attorney Today for Your Free Consultation
Whether you were in an intersection collision or any other type of traffic crash, call a Chicago car accident attorney today for your free consultation.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can assess your case, explain your rights, and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Don’t delay seeking legal guidance to protect your rights and navigate the claims process effectively.