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How to Make Chicago Roads Safer

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


In 2017, the number of deaths related to motor vehicle accidents reached nearly 40,000. While this figure is slightly lower than the number of fatalities in 2016, it still follows a trend of a steady increase in deaths since 2014. Motor vehicle deaths in Chicago alone were well over 1,000. 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.

Add Rumble Strips

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.

Install Median Barriers

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.

Choose Roundabouts Over Traffic Lights

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:

  • They don’t have traffic lights, thus eliminating the need to rush through a stoplight.
  • Their circular structure and lower speed limit forces cars to travel at a slower pace.
  • They are one-way, so drivers only need to pay attention to cars on the left when they enter and cars on the right when they exit, limiting the chance that they will misread traffic patterns.

Improve Turn Lanes

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.

Adjust Timing on Stoplights

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.

Improve Crosswalks

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.

Contact a Lawyer

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.

To speak to one of our attorneys, call (312) 236-2900 and schedule a free consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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