Chicago is bustling with traffic day and night. Car accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), there were 156,395 car accidents in Cook County, Illinois in 2021. Understanding the common types of Chicago car accidents can help raise awareness and promote safer driving practices. Here, our Chicago personal injury attorneys review the most common types and causes of Chicago car accidents and review some tips on how to prevent them.
Types of Chicago Car Accidents
1. Collisions with Other Cars
Collisions with other cars are the most common type of Chicago car accident. There are numerous types of collisions that can occur between two or more cars, including:
- Rear-end collisions: these accidents happen when a vehicle crashes into the rear end of another vehicle in front of it. Rear-end collisions can range from minor fender benders to severe accidents, depending on the speed and force of impact.
- Head-on collisions: these accidents pose a significant risk. Head-on collisions are severe and often catastrophic accidents that occur when two vehicles collide directly front-to-front.
- Sideswipe collisions: occurs when two vehicles traveling in parallel directions make contact with each other. Sideswipe collisions often happen during lane changes.
Tips to prevent collisions with other cars:
- Avoid distracted driving
- Leave enough space between vehicles
- Stay alert to brake lights or turn signals
- Be vigilant and anticipate potential hazards or changes in traffic flow
2. Pedestrian Accidents
In a bustling city like Chicago, pedestrian traffic is abundant, making it crucial for drivers to remain vigilant for pedestrians, particularly children who may unpredictably enter the roadway. As a pedestrian, you play a crucial role in reducing the likelihood of being involved in a car accident.
Tips to prevent pedestrian accidents:
- Stay on the sidewalk and utilize designated crosswalks whenever available
- Follow traffic laws and signals, such as using designated crosswalk
- Drivers should adhere to speed limits and adjust their speed in areas with high pedestrian traffic, such as school zones or residential neighborhood
- Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before stepping onto the road
3. Collisions with Buses
Unfortunately, these accidents are frequent occurrences in busy metropolitan areas like Chicago. Collisions involving cars, city buses, or school buses pose significant dangers to both drivers and occupants of the vehicles involved. Given the substantial size of buses, they have the potential to cause extensive damage and injuries.
Tips to prevent collisions with buses:
- Use caution when approaching a bus, as they may come to an abrupt stop without prior warning
- Follow the speed limit, especially in school zones
4. Train Accidents
Chicago is home to various train services such as Metra, Amtrak, and numerous freight trains. Drivers should prioritize safety and take necessary precautions when encountering train crossings. Make sure to look for oncoming trains before proceeding through a train crossing, especially in the event of a signal malfunction.
Tips to prevent train accidents:
- Never attempt to beat a train by driving around a protective gate
- Check both directions before driving across a railroad crossing
- Do not start driving over the tracks when the protective gate is down
5. Collisions with Bicycles
Car accidents in Chicago don’t always involve two vehicles. Bicycles share the road with cars as well, and it’s important for drivers to be mindful of their presence, especially on busy city streets where bicycles may maneuver through traffic.
As a driver, it is crucial to remain vigilant and watch out for bicycles. Keep a lookout for them, as they may be weaving in and out of traffic. Giving them enough space and being patient can help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of both drivers and cyclists.
For bicyclists, it is essential to follow the rules of the road and take measures to protect yourself by:
- Wearing a helmet
- Making yourself visible to drivers by wearing light-colored and reflective clothing
- Utilizing bicycle lanes
Tips to prevent collisions with bicycles:
- Stay aware of surroundings by avoiding distractions
- Use extra caution when driving in areas with heavy bicycle traffic
- Watch for bicycles when approaching intersections
- Use turn signals
6. Collisions with Motorcycles
As a car driver, be aware of any motorcycles that might be traveling in front, behind, or beside you on the road. Motorcycles can be easily overlooked in blind spots due to their smaller size. On the other hand, if you are a motorcyclist, responsible driving is essential. Stay aware of the cars around you and maintain a safe distance to allow ample time to stop or change lanes if necessary.
Tips to prevent collisions with motorcycles:
- Check blind spots before changing lanes
- Maintain a safe distance
- Avoid sudden braking
7. Collisions with Trucks
Crashes between cars and semi-trucks are a common type of accidents on highways in and around the Chicago area. Even though they usually come equipped with special brakes, trucks cannot always stop in time to avoid an accident. Truck drivers also have a difficult time seeing cars going around them, which can be dangerous when they change lanes.
Tips to prevent collisions with trucks:
- If you cannot see the truck’s side mirrors, the driver cannot see you
- Do not slam your brakes
- Avoid cutting off a semi-truck
Injured in a Chicago Car Accident? Contact Lerner and Rowe
Knowing the common types of Chicago car accidents is the first step in learning to prevent them. By following certain safety precautions and adopting responsible driving habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of the types of accidents mentioned above. Despite that, accidents still happen.
If you or a family member is severely injured in a car accident because of a negligent driver, we can help. Our lawyers have more than 240 years of combined experience winning maximum compensation for injury victims. In fact, our attorneys have won more than $1-billion in the last 5 years for clients nationwide. Reach out to us today and begin your free, no obligation consultation.
The Chicago car accident lawyers at Lerner and Rowe are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 708-222-2222. You can also connect with us online by filling out this convenient form or connecting with one of our LiveChat agents.