As Illinois moves into phase 3 of COVID-19 reopening, traffic is making a big comeback. You may have noticed that the roads are more crowded, the parking lots are a bit fuller, and the expressways feel more like they did in January and February.
If you’ve noticed an uptick in traffic, you’re not alone. Congestion, higher travel times, and traffic crashes are on the rise as Illinois resumes activities under phase 3 of the Illinois reopening plan.
After the state-wide stay-at-home order took effect in mid-March, weekly traffic volume in Chicago was cut in half. As of last week, traffic was back to 77% of 2019 levels, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The Illinois Tollway reports that for the first four days of June, passenger vehicle traffic was at 64%, and commercial vehicle traffic at 94%, of 2020 projections. That compares with 45% and about 80%, respectively, in April.
During the first week of June, the city of Chicago recorded more than 250 crashes a week, which compared with fewer than 150 a week in late March. Despite the uptick, crashes remain below year-ago levels. While there are fewer crashes, IDOT reports that there have been 340 deadly crashes so far this year, which is only 8 fewer than last year. The majority of fatal crashes fell into three categories: motorcycle crashes, pedestrian crashes, and truck crashes.
Speeding—which has been linked to many of the fatal crashes in Illinois—continues to be a big problem in Illinois. As the state begins to reopen, the number of cars speeding in Chicago was 21% higher during the second week of June than in the same period of 2019. This dangerous driving trend surged during the pandemic as drivers took advantage of less congestion on the road. These drivers need to understand that roads are not safer just because they are less crowded and they need to slow down.
Speeding, however, is not the only safety issue to be concerned about. Many people, who are just beginning to get back to work, haven’t been behind the wheel for a while and may be rusty. For these drivers, it is important to be extra cautious. Moreover, all drivers need to be aware that more bikers, runners, and walkers are sharing the road with them as a way to get out of the house, enjoy the summer weather, and exercise. It’s up to drivers to keep these bicyclists and pedestrians safe.
As Illinois returns to normal, deadly and dangerous crashes are on the rise. Unfortunately, that means that more people will be injured by distracted or dangerous drivers. If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle crash, pedestrian crash, truck crash, or car crash, a personal injury lawyer can make sure that your rights are protected. That’s where The Collins Law Firm can help. Our experienced car accident attorneys will build your case and fight to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact us at (630) 527-1595 or fill out our contact form for a FREE evaluation of your car accident case today.