We’ve all been told to look both ways before crossing the street, but that doesn’t always guarantee that we will make it across safely. Just last year, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported nearly 3,000 crashes involving pedestrians in Chicago alone, and 43 of those were fatal.
You might think those accidents were a result of bad weather or poor lighting, but the majority of accidents occurred on dry roads and in broad daylight. On top of that, over 70% of drivers were reported to be in normal condition, which means they were not impaired or fatigued.
We can’t control the world around us, but we can practice extra caution in an attempt to avoid serious injury. In order to stay as aware of your surroundings as possible, you should know which intersections in Chicago are the most dangerous for pedestrians.
Which Intersections Require Extra Caution?
Some intersections in Chicago are statistically more dangerous for pedestrians. In 2014, the Active Transportation Alliance released a list of the most dangerous intersections in our city. They created this list based on crash statistics and feedback from the general public. While the list is from five years ago, it’s still relevant today.
Here are the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Chicago:
- Milwaukee Ave., W. North Ave., and N. Damen Ave.
- Cicero Ave. and W. Chicago Ave.
- Halsted St., N. Lincoln Ave., and W. Fullerton Ave.
- Cottage Grove Ave. and E. 79th St.
- Dearborn St. and W. Ontario St.
- Ashland Ave. and W. 63rd St.
- Cicero Ave. and W. Madison St.
- Ashland Ave. and W. Cortland St.
- Martin Luther King Dr. and E. 63rd St.
- Elston Ave., N. Western Ave., and W. Diversey Ave
Some of these intersections contain the same streets, so is there something about these particular streets that make them more dangerous than others?
Why Are They So Dangerous?
Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk, according to Illinois law, but unfortunately, drivers don’t always follow this. Looking more closely at these intersections, some patterns become visible as to why they are more dangerous than other intersections in the city. Here are some of the elements that make certain intersections more dangerous to pedestrians:
- Street layout. In some of the intersections listed above, there are more than two streets intersecting one another, which makes crossing more complicated. They are also harder to cross when the intersection is not at a right angle, so crosswalks can be hard to identify since they exist at an unusual angle. Additionally, this can make it hard for cars to understand where they are going, which makes them less attentive to pedestrians who are attempting to get across the street.
- Signals. Some of the intersections do not have crosswalk signals, or cars do not obey traffic signals as they should. Sometimes street signs are not visible or missing, which also makes the intersection more dangerous for pedestrians, especially if the absent sign designated a crosswalk.
- Traffic flow. Some intersections are more prone to getting backed up than others, especially when drivers have to make a weird turn across lanes. When traffic is heavy, drivers might focus more on the surrounding cars rather than the people attempting to cross the street. If road rage becomes involved, a driver might intentionally block a pedestrian’s path, or even hit them on purpose.
These factors can contribute to pedestrian vulnerability at the intersections mentioned above, but any intersection can be dangerous. Even though vehicles are supposed to yield to you, always practice caution when crossing the street. Techniques like making eye contact with drivers, walking quickly, and staying off your phone can help you stay safe at intersections.
Our Law Firm Will Fight for You
As a pedestrian, a car accident can leave you with debilitating injuries. If you’re seeking legal representation, you’ll need a law firm you can trust. Krzak Rundio Law Group can be there for you every step of the way and will approach your case with the care and attention you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation so that we can advise you on the options that are in your best interests.