An end to the historic drop in driving congestion, which began in 2007 and has continued through the Great Recession, will increase the risk of Chicago car accidents and urban accidents nationwide, The USAToday reported.
As reported earlier this year on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog, Illinois reported the fewest traffic fatalities in almost a century last year. And fatal accidents nationwide have been trending downward since congestion began to wane in 2007, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Rick Schuman, the study’s author, said the economy and traffic congestion are closely linked.
“As the job situation goes, so goes congestion,” Schuman said. “If we have a recovery and we start seeing employment starting to grow, congestion will grow along with it.”
Chicago is the third-most congested metro area in the country, behind Los Angeles and New York. WIth a population of 9.5 million, the study found the Chicago area was 42 percent as congested as Los Angeles and 86 percent as congested as New York.
It’s unclear whether the uptick in congestion will last; pace of the increase remains less than 1 percent a month — a far cry from the 21 percent increase in miles driven between 1995 and 2007.
Findings of the INRIX traffic scorecard include:
-Traffic remains down during the morning commute, a reflection of the high unemployment rate. Traffic was up during the remainder of the day.
-Friday at 5 p.m. remains the busiest commute and the worst day and time of the week to be on the road.
If you have been injured in an accident, the Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes offer a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. 1 (866) 99-ABELS.