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Chicago Ranked 5th for World's Worst Traffic

Traffic in downtown Chicago with people, train, cars, and bus.

A recent global traffic analysis has ranked Chicago as the fifth most congested city worldwide, with congestion levels surpassing pre-pandemic figures by 18%. Transportation analysis platform Inrix compiled data for the annual Global Traffic Scorecard. It reveals that Chicago drivers lost an average of 96 hours to traffic delays over the past year.

The study examined travel patterns across nearly 950 global cities. It placed Chicago behind only New York City, Mexico City, London, and Paris for gridlock severity. In particular, the evening rush hours on the Dan Ryan and Stevenson expressways ranked among the most congested commutes in the entire United States.

Does Traffic Congestion Lead To More Traffic Accidents?

While congestion typically reduces the severity of traffic accidents due to lower speeds, it can increase the overall number of minor collisions and create conditions for risky behaviors such as aggressive driving or distracted driving.

Additionally, sudden changes in traffic flow can lead to rear-end collisions, especially when drivers are not paying full attention. While this might not seem like a big deal to motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists are particularly at risk of serious and fatal injuries. Frustrated drivers often become less attentive to pedestrians and bicyclists, especially when making turns.

Bicyclists must often share lanes with slow-moving vehicles during heavy traffic. Congested streets with parked cars pose a higher risk of "dooring" accidents, where car doors are opened into the path of bicyclists. Busy intersections during peak congestion times are particularly hazardous for pedestrians and bicyclists, with an increased risk of right-hook and left-turn collisions.

While vehicle collisions aren't as severe during heavy traffic congestion, low-impact crashes can still cause significant injuries. Motorists often sustain whiplash, soft tissue injuries, minor bone fractures, and mild head injuries at low speeds.

Proposed Solutions and Future Outlook

As Chicago grapples with traffic congestion, city officials, urban planners, and residents continue to explore ways to improve mobility across the metropolitan area. This includes:

Public Transit Improvements

Safety advocates argue that a more efficient and attractive public transit system could significantly reduce the number of cars on the road. Some proposed improvements include:

  • Implementing bus rapid transit lanes on major corridors.
  • Increasing the frequency of train and bus services during peak hours.
  • Modernizing the Chicago Transit Authority's fleet and infrastructure to improve reliability.

Cycling Infrastructure Expansion

With the notable increase in bicyclists across Chicago, there's a growing push to expand and improve Chicago's bike lane network. Proposals include:

  • Creating more protected bike lanes to ensure bicyclist safety.
  • Extending the bike lane network to underserved areas.
  • Implementing bike-sharing programs in more neighborhoods.

Smart Traffic Management

Safety advocates are also exploring technology to optimize traffic flow. This could involve:

  • Implementing adaptive traffic signal control systems.
  • Using real-time data to manage traffic during peak hours or special events.
  • Encouraging the use of traffic apps to help drivers find less congested routes.

Rethinking Major Infrastructure Projects

The controversy surrounding the DuSable Lake Shore Drive redesign project sheds light on a broader debate about the future of Chicago's transportation infrastructure. Some advocates are pushing for:

  • Public transit and sustainable transportation in major infrastructure projects.
  • Exploring the feasibility of a light rail system along the lakefront.
  • Redesigning key corridors to better balance the needs of all road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists.

Count On Keating If You've Been Injured In Chicago

Whether you're a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorist in Chicago, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses if you were injured by a negligent driver. Unfortunately, insurance companies often prioritize their bottom line over the well-being of injured claimants. That's why the experienced accident attorneys at Keating Law Offices, P.C. are here to protect your rights, aggressively advocate for your best interests, and fight to help you recover every single dollar you deserve.

Our legal team has a proven track record of successfully representing crash victims in Chicago, especially injured pedestrians and bicyclists. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients, and our case results prove it. Some of our notable outcomes include:

  • A $1,250,000 settlement for the family of a bicyclist killed in a collision with a motor vehicle.
  • $975,000 for a Chicago bicyclist's injuries sustained in a crash with a motor vehicle.
  • A $550,000 settlement for a pedestrian struck in a crosswalk by a commercial vehicle.

If you've been hurt due to someone else's negligence in Chicago, we urge you to contact us online today for a free consultation. You can also schedule a free consultation by calling 833-CALL-KLO. Let us investigate your case, build a strong claim, and stand up to insurance companies on your behalf.

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