The Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA, operates the nation’s second largest public transportation system. The CTA not only provides transportation around Chicago, but also serves thirty-five suburbs in the Chicago metropolitan area. The CTA is also one of the only transit providers that have routes going to two major airports.
CTA operates a bus and train system with almost 2000 buses and around 1500 rail cars providing on an average week day 1.6 million rides. That results in over 8 million rides every week!
As CTA is a common carrier it owes a heightened duty of care to all passengers. Common carriers are required to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence in the safety of passengers. This means that the CTA has the responsibility to warn passengers of potentially dangerous conditions, and may be held liable for injuries that occur due to unsafe conditions. If a dangerous condition arises and the CTA fails to correct the condition, or if the CTA fails to perform vigilant inspections for potential safety hazards, they can be held liable for injuries that occur due these conditions.
With Chicago winter descending, ice will become an everyday occurrence. Unfortunately ice and other winter conditions are a major contributing factor in CTA passenger accidents.
Icy conditions can make entering and exiting the bus or train very dangerous. The unpredictability of Midwest weather often results in conditions becoming unsafe with very little warning. After a few days of snow, the sun will reappear melting the snow, and then overnight the temperature will drop freezing the city. Ice often accumulates on exits and entrances making CTA stairwells hazardous. Passengers, who are in a hurry to get to work on time or anxious to get home after a long day, can fail to notice these icy conditions and find themselves slipping on a platform or falling down the stairs.
In addition, riders tend to bring the outside elements inside, tracking in snow and ice. Wet shoes can make a bus floor or train platform incredibly slippery, which can cause serious accidents.
These icy conditions also make the roadways more dangerous. Icy streets can make it difficult for bus drivers to control their vehicles increasing the likelihood of a collision. Ice can also accumulate on the railway posing a danger to traveling trains.
At Abels and Annes, we hope you and your family have a safe winter, but if you find yourself a victim of a CTA accident caused by winter elements, speaking with a personal injury attorney may help you get the information you need to evaluate your options.
Prior Blog Entry:
Aggressive Drivers Often Cause Accidents on Chicago’s Roads, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published January 22, 2017.
CTA Facts at a Glance, Chicago Transit Authority.