What Is A Dangerous Intersection?
“Dangerous Intersections” are those that experience a larger number of accidents. There are many intersections within the Chicago area which are considered to be unsafe. While dangerous intersections can be reconfigured and/or otherwise changed to make them safer, even if such changes are made they can take a lengthy (years) amount of time.
Characteristics Of Dangerous Intersections
While there is no set definition of what makes a junction unsafe, there are many characteristics that can make an intersection unsafe and vulnerable to accidents.
Some of these characteristics include:
Greater Traffic Volume Than The Intersection Was Designed To Handle
Intersections are designed to handle a certain amount of traffic. If the traffic that flows through the intersection is considerably more than that for which the junction is designed, there can be many adverse effects.
There can be various reasons as to why the traffic flowing through the intersection becomes considerably more than what the intersection was designed for. For instance, if there is a detour and the intersection is in this detour, traffic can be substantially more than average.
Also, if the intersection is designed and constructed in an area which subsequently grows in population, the area will likely experience more traffic than that for which the roadways were originally designed for.
If there is greater amounts of traffic than the intersection was designed to handle, there most likely will be congestion and delays. Traffic flow can slow substantially. Some drivers may start to drive aggressively in an effort to get through the intersection faster. Among the actions these aggressive drivers can take include speeding, driving through red lights, and failing to yield. All of these actions can increase the likelihood of a traffic accident.
If a junction suffers from insufficient or missing lighting, there can be an increased risk of crashes. Another visibility issue is if the stop lights are not properly configured, which can cause drivers to not be able to see the signals.
Too Many Streets Meeting At The Junction
If multiple streets meet at the intersection, the intersection layout can cause confusion. Multiple streets can confuse motorists, especially those who are unfamiliar with the area.
This type of configuration can occur in any area. However, due to various reasons, such intersections are more likely to be found in urban areas. The Chicago area has various junctions in which multiple streets cross. Not surprisingly, many of these intersections experience numerous accidents and as such are considered to be dangerous intersections.
Improper Speed Limit
If the speed limit at the intersection is set too high, there can be problems. This situation can be especially problematical if drivers are also driving above the speed limit.
Among the problems caused by a speed limit that is set too high is that drivers may not have enough time to react to changing traffic conditions. One of the primary accidents at intersections is when people can’t stop fast enough to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of them. While this type of accident can happen for many reasons, if the person in the rearward vehicle is driving too fast it can be a contributing factor to the vehicle in front of it getting “rear-ended.”
Lack Of Dedicated Turning Lanes
Dedicated turning lanes can be a key traffic safety component at busy intersections. As well, the dedicated turning lanes can greatly reduce traffic congestion. These dedicated turning lanes can be both for vehicles turning left as well as right.
Some older intersections may be missing these dedicated turning lanes. As well, if the intersection was built before a major increase in traffic, the design of the intersection may not have anticipated this greater traffic flow and the need for dedicated turning lanes.
Cook County Intersection Accidents
On this site, there are many vehicle accidents summarized that have occurred at intersections. As well, various traffic safety issues regarding dangerous intersections have been discussed.
Intersection reconstructions – in order to improve traffic safety – have been highlighted. One Schiller Park improvement project was announced by IDOT in early September 2021. The junction is at Irving Park Road (Illinois 19) at Scott Street and Judd Avenue.
Another past improvement project was the reconstruction of the Golf Road Traffic Circle in Des Plaines. This project was discussed in the “Reconstruction Of The Golf Road Traffic Circle In Des Plaines” post.
What To Do If Injured In A Vehicle Accident
If one is hurt in a vehicle accident, there are various steps that should be taken. These steps include those to protect one’s health. As well, from a legal perspective steps should be taken to maximize potential injury compensation if the accident was another person’s fault.
As far as protecting one’s health, it is important to get a thorough medical examination after being hurt in an accident. This medical exam is typically conducted in a hospital emergency room (ER.) It seeks to identify all injuries – both those that are evident and those that may not be readily apparent. Some injuries can be very serious in nature but may have delayed onset symptoms, meaning that the injured person may not be aware of the trauma or its seriousness. Among serious injuries that may not yet be apparent to the injured person include certain severe head injuries and internal bleeding. If there are serious injuries that are not quickly identified and treated, these injuries may lead to serious health complications and in some cases can become life-threatening in nature.
Once all accident injuries are properly identified and assessed, a proper course of medical treatment can begin. This medical treatment can vary widely depending upon the injuries and their severity. Among the medical treatment that may be required includes medications ; hospitalization; surgeries; testing; and various types of rehabilitation.
From a legal perspective, if the accident was the fault of another person (or entity) the injured person may be able to get injury compensation. This injury compensation is typically pursued through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. In incidents in which a person is killed in an accident, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by relevant parties on behalf of the person who was killed.
Various types of compensation may be available, including that for:
- Medical costs (past, current and future bills)
- Pain & suffering
- Loss of function
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Ambulance costs
- Other economic damages
Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, offers a free legal consultation to those who have been injured in accidents that were not their fault. As well, he can discuss wrongful death lawsuits if a fatality has occurred. He can be reached at any time at (773) 392-8182 or via email at [email protected]
The Elman Joseph Law Group is a personal injury law firm that has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years. The firm also handles wrongful death lawsuits.
Over this 25+ year period, the Elman Joseph Law Group has won many notable lawsuit settlements and court trial verdicts. Due to this success the lawyers have received various prestigious awards. The “Personal Injury Lawsuit Results And Litigation Capabilities” page discusses these case results and awards.
Elman Joseph Law Group handles all lawsuits on a contingency basis…clients don’t pay a fee unless and until they receive money.