Abels & Annes

Chicago congestion ranked worst in nation – increases risk of car accidents

It’s not recognition we would wish for, but our Chicago car accident lawyers were not surprised to see we were ranked as Number One in road congestion.

The Breaking News Center reported the Urban Mobility Report, released by the Texas Transportation Institute found that commuters in Chicago waste an average of 70 hours on the road each year.
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The congestion alone is enough to increase the risk of a Chicago car crash. It also increases the risk of other dangerous driving behaviors, including aggressive driving, distracted driving, running red lights and even speeding, when and if a motorist can break out of the gridlock.

The report of the traffic issues in Chicago comes even as some other major metropolitan areas are seeing some relief when it comes to heavy rush hour traffic, if only because of high unemployment and the struggling economy.

The 70 extra hours spent behind the wheel each year by Chicago drivers was more than twice the national average of 34 hours. Chicago had ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the past. Chicago motorists spent an extra 64 hours behind the wheel in 2008, compared to 55 hours in 1999 and 18 hours in 1982.

Los Angeles had previously held the top spot.

All that extra time behind the wheel comes with a price. On average, congestion cost each commuter $1,738 last year. In all, the nation spent $115 billion on congestion, wasted an additional 4.8 billion hours behind the wheel and consumed just shy of 4 billion extra gallons of fuel.

The study looked at 439 urban areas and found the issues associated with congestion would have been even more acute without mass transit, which saved 785 million man-hours and 640 million gallons of fuel.

And, unfortunately, all this could amount to the good news. Congestion is expected to get worse as the economy recovers.


If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.