In 2021, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimated the total motor vehicle deaths to be 46,020, up nine percent from 42,339 in 2020. For nearly the last 20 years, the NSC’s predictions have been within 1,000 of the predicted and actual number of deaths. In Cook County alone, the Illinois Department of Transportation showed there were 461 fatal crashes reported in 2021, up from 2020’s 372.
City officials such as lawmakers and department of transportation are using this data as a catalyst to learn how to make Chicago roads safer. Besides studying traffic patterns, improving road surfaces, and enforcing stricter driving laws, officials can use any or all of the ideas below.
If you or a loved one has suffered in a car accident due to the recklessness of someone else, you should reach out to Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. Our Chicago car accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation for any damages or injuries you may have incurred.
Call us today at (312) 236-2900to set up a free consultation.
Rumble strips effectively alert drivers who are falling asleep or distracted to correct their behavior. These strips are generally used on the sides of the road to keep drivers from driving off the street. But, adding them to the middle of certain roads may keep cars from veering into other lanes and prevent more accidents.
Median barriers are often used by construction workers on roads as a way to keep a safe distance between traffic and the roadwork. But, installing these barriers permanently in the medians of highways can reduce instances of cars veering into oncoming traffic. According to the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHWA), head-on collisions caused by crossover traffic account for 8% of accident-related deaths on divided highways.
Concrete barriers are a sturdy choice that requires little repair, but there are other, more cost-effective options, such as cable or beam guardrails. The FHWA has advised transportation agencies of individual states to locate the areas that see the majority of these cross-median crashes and consider installing median barriers there.
Roundabouts are slowly becoming a popular choice at intersections. With traffic lights, there is often the problem of someone speeding through the intersection while trying to beat the light before it turns red. Often, this behavior results in an accident. But, roundabouts can curtail these crashes in several ways:
The FWHA has encouraged the use of the “Road Diet” for certain undivided highways. This method converts a traditional four-lane undivided highway into three lanes: two regular lanes and a center turn lane. The turn lane is accessible by both sides and serves to thin out traffic that tends to get stuck behind a too-long turn lane. Center turn lanes also eliminate stop-and-go traffic, which is another factor in many crashes.
As previously mentioned, drivers who try to race the lights to avoid being stopped by a red light often cause an accident in the intersection. One way to cut down on these crashes is to readjust the timers on stoplights to allow for a longer timeframe for yellow lights.
It’s not just the occupants of a car who are in danger. Pedestrians account for 12 percent of annual traffic-related deaths. Three-quarters of these deaths occur at areas of the road where an intersection is not available. In order to lessen the number of pedestrian deaths, the FHWA has suggested creating pedestrian refuge areas. These areas have visible neon crosswalk signs and a space in the median where pedestrians can safely wait to cross. An alternative to a pedestrian refuge area is to raise the median, which would also offer pedestrians a place to wait without worrying that a car will come too close and run into them.
Every day, city planning officials are researching ways to make Chicago roads safer. But even the safest roads can’t protect you from a careless driver. If you were involved in an accident caused by another driver’s negligent actions, call the attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We will immediately begin building a case that gets you the compensation you deserve, so you can focus on your recovery.
Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. To speak to one of our attorneys, call (312) 236-2900 and schedule a free consultation.