When it comes to driving in the Chicago area, not all roads are created equal. Some are well-maintained, well-designed, and function as intended to, allowing traffic to progress with few problems. Others seem to have been in need of repaving or updating for decades, leaving motorists to question why they have been so neglected by local officials and what will have to happen before changes are made.
The level of traffic on a specific roadway contributes quite a bit to that road’s overall safety and functionality. The more vehicles that use an area, the more likely that congestion will result, particularly if a car accident or crash happens and forces a backup beyond the affected vehicles.
With more than 300,000 vehicles using the Dan Ryan Expressway on a typical weekday, it has been dubbed the busiest road in the entire state, along with the Kennedy Expressway on the city’s north side. The Dan Ryan is known to locals for its high speeds and stiff congestion and is so infamous that many plan their entire transit times around anticipated rush hour traffic. If you fail to plan before getting on the Dan Ryan, odds are that you will find yourself in stop-and-go conditions.
Without the Dan Ryan, thousands would find their morning commutes difficult or even impossible which highlights how important the expressway is to our traffic flow. However, not everything about the Dan Ryan is a positive as it is also known as the location of many of the state’s traffic accidents annually.
Due to the mixed nature of vehicles on the Dan Ryan, car accidents, truck collisions, motorcycle crashes, and even an occasional pedestrian accident is possible to strike regardless of the day of the week or time of the day. Often, the speeds involved with vehicles on the expressway are so high that many motorists do not realize they are in a precarious position until after a crash happens. The fast rates of travel mixed with the dense traffic is also why collisions are more likely to turn fatal than a collision that happens on a slower, less crowded city street.
Experts agree that the best thing to do to protect your own safety if you drive the Dan Ryan is to act in a cautious and defensive manner. This means being prepared for the unexpected and being ready to slow or even stop if necessary. You should expect other drivers to make a mistake and should be ready to act in response to that, changing lanes or avoiding a hazard if doing so will prevent an accident.
Keep your speed in mind as speed is thought to be a factor in a large percentage of crashes on the Dan Ryan. In fact, traffic often move as a pace that is significantly faster than the posted limit even though doing so is unwise. The expressway is so short that speeding likely will only save a typical driver a minute or two on her commute, and since it increases the risks of a collision, it cannot be considered worth the risk. Instead, drive in a manner that puts your own safety first as well as the safety of others by slowing your speed.
Finally, know that you cannot control the actions of other drivers, no matter how much you may wish you could. If another driver errs or acts in a negligent manner and you are hurt as a result, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your injuries through the use of a personal injury claim. Speaking with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can help you realize your rights and what actions you should take to ensure you are protected.
Prior Blog Entry:
New Illinois Drivers to be Educated on Procedures when Pulled Over, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published September 7, 2016.