If you’ve ever sat in traffic in or around Chicago, you understand that congestion, delays, and accidents are all part of the routine. Whether you’re headed north on I-90 or south on the Dan Ryan, you’ve most likely experienced sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic and rolling a few feet forward every 5 minutes.
You’ve also probably witnessed or passed accidents. People on freeways often get into collisions because of speeding, distractions, improper or illegal lane changes or passing, and drunk driving. When thousands of vehicles are moving on an interstate at a high speed, it’s crucial that everyone carefully change lanes and pass other cars appropriately. Trying to fly ahead of the pack or weave in between traffic is what gets people into trouble.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 83,559 people were involved in car crashes on interstates or freeways in Illinois in 2014. Of those people, 127 died due to the accident while 7,957 were injured. Twelve motorcyclists were killed on Illinois highways that year and another 242 motorcyclists were injured.
While IDOT doesn’t break it down by region, it wouldn’t be surprising if a significant percentage of these deaths and injuries occurred on Cook County freeways. The Dan Ryan, Stevenson, Edens, Kennedy, and Eisenhower expressways are all known for traffic congestion, speeding, and unfortunately, accidents.
People run the risk of getting into auto accidents every time they get into a car, whether as a driver or passenger. The driver may be experienced and safe, but you can never control what other drivers on the road do.
However, driving on the highway may be a bit riskier than your normal neighborhood streets. This is witnessed by the people who commute in and out of the city every day for work. A month probably doesn’t go by where they don’t notice the remains of an accident or see a collision occur.
People regularly move faster than 65 mph on Illinois highways. People who decide to speed on the freeway can reach 80 or 90 mph. If a car going that speed collides with another vehicle, the likelihood of extreme injuries or fatalities is incredibly high. The collision is also more likely to spread to other vehicles, increasing the possible number of injuries and deaths.
Illinois freeways aren’t immune to impaired drivers. Just a few years ago, a Dateline investigation found Cook County’s portion of I-94 was the most dangerous area for DIU encounters in the state. This portion of highway also ranked high for drunk drivers nationally.
If you were injured in a collision on the highway, contact an Illinois attorney right away. When the accident and your injuries weren’t your fault, the financial burden shouldn’t be on your shoulders. The other driver is responsible and should be liable for your expenses. An Illinois personal injury lawyer will help you negotiate with the other driver’s insurance, and if you can’t reach a settlement, will help you file suit against the driver.