A typical motor vehicle accidents may involve two vehicles but some collisions can involve several vehicles. The more vehicles involved in a collision, the more likely it is that damage and injuries will be severe. Given the high volume of traffic in Chicago, multi-vehicle car accidents are very common.
Intersections by nature are a place where vehicles converge which is why multi-vehicle accidents are common in these locations. One distracted driver at a four way stop can cause an accident involving numerous cars just by failing to yield to the right-of-way. When intersections have unique designs, the possibility for multi-vehicle accidents increases. These unique designs are common with older intersections where three streets intersect instead of the typical two. If a driver is not paying attention, the driver can easily fail to see the third street and be unaware of incoming traffic.
Chicago is an older city and its age is one of its appeals. While it is rife with history, its streets do not always make logical sense when they intersect. As a result, numerous high traffic roads converge as unusual angles, in strange patterns, and in ways that can be described as not typical. Drivers who operate on these streets often may become familiar with the intersections but those from other areas of the city are not, increasing the odds that they will be involved in a collision. Further, tourists and commuters face a higher risk of an accident when they are unfamiliar with an atypical intersection.
Multi-vehicle accidents are also common on highways. Highways and expressways are typically full of vehicles of all shapes and sizes. When you combine numerous vehicles with high speeds, the likelihood of a collision occurring increases. Add in the fact that most highways have several lanes of traffic and the likelihood of a collision between two vehicles affecting others is very high. When two vehicles collide going at high speeds it is possible for one or both of the vehicles to spin out of control or even roll over endangering and involving the vehicles traveling in other lanes of traffic.
During rush hour, especially in Chicago, highways are often bumper-to-bumper with traffic, which makes the roadway the prime place for pile-up accidents. One bump can create a chain reaction in stopped traffic. Just last winter a 40-vehicle crash occurred on Kennedy Expressway. A car lost traction on the snowy and ice covered highway resulting in a chain reaction shutting down the entire expressway. With winter slowly creeping upon us the likelihood of multi-vehicle accidents increase as we see with the aforementioned example.
Although you cannot control the behavior of other drivers on the road there are a few things you can do to help prevent multi-vehicle accidents. When you find yourself in traffic try to maintain a larger than normal difference between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. When approaching intersections, take the time to look at your surroundings before proceeding; look both ways, not twice, but three times. Finally, do not rush as you drive around Illinois but rather focus on safety. If your goal changes from arriving quickly to arriving without incident, you will be doing yourself and others on the road a service as your caution helps to serve safety at large.
Prior Blog Entry:
Remember Cycling Safety as Kids go Back to School, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 13, 2016.