St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year and it means that many who want to celebrate the holiday will do so this weekend. The City of Chicago will be in full swing today as the streets overflow with celebrations and as popular activities like the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade take place. If you plan to participate in any Chicago-area activities, be prepared for large crowds, long lines, and crowded public transportation.
While St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday enjoyed by many and while this year’s anticipated mild weather is expected to encourage large crowds, people are cautioned to keep safety in mind as a large pedestrian gathering may turn tragic if an accident occurs. If you will be in Chicago today or if you plan to celebrate in another area of Illinois, keep the following in mind to make sure you are as safe as possible:
– Never cross a street against a traffic control device: If you are in Chicago and you are walking around downtown, it may be tempting to cross a street even when the lights do not allow pedestrian traffic to proceed. However, doing so can turn very dangerous in a mere moment if vehicular traffic is present in the area. Even if others are jaywalking or are walking against a red light, make sure you do not follow the crowd. Wait until you have the right-of-way and only cross a road at a designated pedestrian crossing.
– Do not assume that cars will stop for you: On a typical Saturday in Chicago, pedestrians may expect and may experience vehicles yielding to them as they walk around the city. However, on a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day, drivers may be less familiar with where they are driving and local road closures may make driving more difficult. Combined with the heavy pedestrian presence, these factors may mean that drivers will be less likely to yield to pedestrians. Never assume that you will receive a yield and instead take your safety info your own hands by acting responsibility and assuming that drivers will not put your safety first.
– Be alert for drunk drivers: St. Patrick’s Day is associated with increased alcohol consumption among many who celebrate the holiday, including those who celebrate in Chicago. Local police are aware of this and have already announced plans to increase enforcement of drunk driving patrols across the city in an effort to catch impaired motorists before an accident happens. But not every drunk driver will be caught in the act and those that remain on the streets will pose a danger to everyone. Be alert for drunk drivers if you are walking or if you are riding in a car and never choose to drink and drive.
– Obey instructions and directions given by police officers: On St. Patrick’s Day, Chicago functions a little differently than normal and police intervention may be needed. From road closures to the areas marked for the parade route, a typical Chicago resident or visitor may be unfamiliar with all these changes. If police officers have designated areas as closed to the public or if you are given instructions from a uniformed official, obey all directions and proceed to your intended destination in a civil and orderly manner.
These basic tips are something to keep in mind if you will be partaking in today’s celebration downtown but keep in mind that common sense should be at the forefront of all the decisions you make.
The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. hope you enjoy your holiday safely and without incident but if tragedy strikes and you become the victim of a pedestrian accident, know that we will be standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 so that we can provide you with the answers you need. We offer a case consultation without cost and without obligation to those victims and their family members who choose to contact us and we will keep everything discussed confidential. If a crash has affected your life, call us now and let us help you seek the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Englewood Car Accident Injures 3, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 10, 2015.