Chicago has a massive amount of commuter traffic. With so many drivers on the road, the risk of being involved in a serious automotive accident is always present. To avoid causing an accident or being struck by another car, all Chicago drivers need to adopt practical driving habits to make the city’s roads safer.
Many Chicago drivers use dangerous strategies to get to their destination on time. Unfortunately, when these people come to their senses, it’s often after they have injured a family or spent weeks in a hospital bed recovering. City driving requires patience and a high level of awareness. Here are a few tips that all drivers can use to travel through Chicago safely.
Be aware of your intersections
The first rule of city driving is to always let minor inconveniences happen. You’re not going to make every green light. People have to cross the street. Stopping at intersections and waiting for traffic to clear is far better than causing an accident and being liable for someone else’s injuries. Experts estimate that 50 percent of all collisions in cities occur at intersections. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who run red lights cause 260,000 injuries annually, including 750 fatal accidents.
Green lights are also dangerous. When you’re approaching a “stale” light, be prepared to brake. If traffic is moving, pedestrians are standing at the corner and cross-traffic is waiting, the light is probably stale. Always yield the right-of-way, and avoid rolling stops. Bad driving habits can cause auto accidents and pedestrian collisions. Once the light turns green, make sure the intersection is clear before you proceed.
In addition to obeying traffic lights, it is best to:
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones, fiddling with a GPS, changing music, etc.
- Always check your blind spots when changing lanes
- Don’t tailgate
- Keep a safe following distance — three seconds is recommended
- Always make a complete stop when turning right on red (when it’s legal) and check both ways for pedestrians before accelerating
- When waiting to make a left, keep your wheels straight. In case you get rear-ended, you won’t end up in oncoming traffic
Exercising safe driving habits is the easiest way to avoid collisions. Auto accidents can inflict debilitating injuries on both drivers and passengers. If you have been injured in a car accident, call experienced Chicago law firm Phillips Law Offices to get the compensation and professional representation that you need.