Interstate Accident Lawyers in Chicago
Chicago has seven major interstates and numerous smaller interstates and roads that are traveled by locals and out-of-towners alike. While state law currently caps the speed limit on these interstates at 65 mph or less, efforts are underway to increase the limit to 70 mph to relieve congestion on our roads. Unfortunately, even the current high speeds on the interstate result in too many car accidents. These crashes can be more serious than accidents on other roads. They are also more likely to be multi-car pileups involving many drivers.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we realize how terrifying it can be to experience one of these accidents or to suffer the unimaginable loss of a loved one because of such a crash. We are passionate about helping victims and their families recover compensation for the harm they have suffered. If you or a loved one was injured in an interstate accident, you have certain legal rights. Allow a lawyer from our firm to explain those rights and take action on your behalf. Our experienced attorneys handle cases throughout Chicago and Illinois, including those involving large trucks, passenger buses, multi-car pileups and out-of-state drivers.
A Closer Look at Chicago Interstates
There are several major interstates located within the Chicago area, each of which is known by multiple names. The interstates include:
- I-190 (Kennedy Expressway)
- I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway)
- I-294 (Tri-State Tollway)
- I-355 (Veterans Memorial Tollway)
- I-55 (Stevenson Expressway)
- I-80 (Kingery Expressway and Tri-State Tollway)
- I-88 (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway)
- I-90 (Chicago Skyway, Dan Ryan Expressway, Kennedy Expressway, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway)
- I-94 (runs through the Kingery Expressway, Bishop Ford Memorial Freeway, Dan Ryan Expressway, Kennedy Expressway, Edens Expressway, Edens Expressway Spur and the Tri-State Tollway).
These interstates connect drivers who are traveling within Chicago and those who are traveling through the city to neighboring cities and states. For example, the Kennedy Expressway runs from O’Hare International Airport to downtown, going east and south. The Chicago Skyway, or Interstate 90, exits off of the Dan Ryan Expressway near 66th Street and then heads southeast in the direction of Indiana. Interstate 94, on the other hand, is a primary highway that leads from Indiana to Illinois to Wisconsin. These interstates are well-traveled roadways, especially at the circle interchange where the Dan Ryan, the Eisenhower and the Kennedy Expressways all converge in a circular area with many ramps and extensive traffic congestion. Unfortunately, the high speeds, extensive traffic and presence of out-of-state drivers who may not be familiar with the interstates all combine to create situations in which many accidents occur.
Top Causes of Interstate Accidents
Some of the factors that increase the accident risk include:
- Speeding drivers – According to the AAA Foundation’s 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 49.3 percent of drivers throughout the U.S. admitted to driving 15 mph over the freeway speed limit in the prior month.
- Distracted drivers – According to Distraction.gov, a driver who sends a text message looks away from the road for 4.6 seconds. If the driver is on an interstate traveling at 65 miles per hour or faster, the driver would travel more than the length of a football field while looking at his or her phone.
- Drowsy drivers – Interstate driving can be monotonous and drivers can start to zone out when they are tired, especially if they are using cruise control and not actively stopping and going at traffic lights.
- Aggressive drivers – Drivers on interstates may be eager to get where they are going and can engage in dangerous behaviors, such as passing on the inside or weaving in and out of cars.
- Tailgating drivers – When a driver gets too close to the vehicle in front, the high speeds on interstates can make it very difficult for the driver to stop. This can cause a rear-end accident, which can have a chain reaction effect.
These are just some of the many types of driver behavior that can occur on interstates and lead to accidents. While these types of driver behavior can happen anywhere, when they occur on expressways, the risks are exacerbated by both speed and congestion.
Interstate Accident Dangers
Regardless of its cause, an interstate accident generally has very serious consequences. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, vehicle occupants are 26 times more likely to be killed in crashes on rural interstate highways that have high speeds than they are on interstate highways that have lower speed limits. Some of the risks that drivers on interstates face include:
- Multi-car pileups – Often, drivers are unable to stop their vehicles or swerve out of the way when they come upon an accident on an interstate because of the high speeds and traffic congestion. This can increase the chances of a multi-vehicle accident occurring.
- Truck accidents – Large trucks routinely travel on interstates as they cross through the Chicago area. Large trucks are often involved in very serious accidents due to their size. Trucks may also cause different types of accidents than cars, including underride accidents and jackknife accidents.
- Bus accidents – Many tour buses travel through Chicago. When these buses are involved in an accident, passengers on the bus and other drivers can be hurt.
- High speed crashes – Cars traveling at high speeds will collide with more force than cars traveling at lower speeds. This means that a driver who is in an interstate accident is far more likely to be seriously injured or killed.
Contact Our Interstate Accident Lawyers
You deserve compensation if you were injured in an interstate accident caused by another driver. The interstate accident attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., will pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation. Offices in Chicago and Waukegan.