Chicago is a city that bursts with activity twelve months of the year. It can be hard to say that any specific time or season is more packed with an event,, than others but thanks in part to Chicago’s great outdoor venues, wonderful summer weather, and cold and snowy winters, now is the time of year when bands flock to the city to play for their loyal fans. In addition to numerous music festivals that take place in the summer, stand-alone concerts are happening at venues as big as Soldier Field and as small as the neighborhood bar you like to visit.
It is great to take advantage of this fun part of calling Chicago home but unfortunately, not everything associated with these concerts can be considered positive. Due to an increase in local traffic and confused motorists, car accidents and pedestrians collisions tend to be more common at and near concert venues in the hours immediately preceding and following a show than they are when a venue remains empty. Often, people who just want to have a good time end up the victims of these accidents and they may suffer from injuries due to the mistakes of another, like a driver who was distracted or was mistaken about the proper path to travel.
These incidents are not only affecting those who are heading to concerts but also average drivers and pedestrians who happen to be in the area. A regular series of events happens when a motorist travels her normal route home from work and encounters unexpected traffic due to a concert that the motorist did not know was taking place. If concerts are a regular occurrence in the area, the driver may know which areas will be closed and may be able to avoid the worst of the congestion. However, if a concert is a less common occurrence or if the driver is traveling in an area unfamiliar to her, she may find herself negatively affected by a concert she will not attend. The same can be true for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists who use the streets of Chicago in the summertime.
As a concert can affect the travel and safety of those attending as well as those who are not, it is important for everyone to keep certain tips in mind while driving in the city this summer.
First, expected unexpected delays. If you have lived in Chicago for any length of time, you know it does not take much for traffic to screech to a halt and it can happen without warning. Even if you are not aware of any special events in your area, be prepared for delays and for congestion as it can happen at any time.
Next, always follow the directions of local law enforcement officials or posted signs, where appropriate. If a concert is expected to bring in enough people, the area will either be manned by law enforcement and/or will be marked with signs to help the flow of traffic. Follow any directions provided in these situations as they can help you with anything from finding parking to locating open roads to simply avoiding the area.
Further, be prepared for the mistakes of others. Even if you know where you are going or what you are doing, odds are that others attending the concert may be less confident and may make a mistake. Be prepared for a driver to ignore your right-of-way and cut you off or for a pedestrian to cross at an intersection against a no-cross signal. Studies have shown that people’s behavior varies and safety may become less important when they are attending a special event so you should be wary of those around you, protecting both them and you from being involved in a collision.
By acting in a safe manner and conducting yourself defensively, you will limit, but unfortunately not eliminate, the odds of a car or pedestrian accident affecting your life, causing you injuries, and potentially leading to a personal injury claim.
Prior Blog Entry:
Uber Introducing Self-Driving Cars in America, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 18, 2016.