According to the TomTom Traffic Index, the amount of time Chicago drivers spend in traffic is growing. It took Chicago drivers an average of 17 minutes and 22 seconds to drive 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles) in 2022. That’s 38 seconds more than in 2021.
Vaziri Law LLC is based in downtown Chicago, so we experience these delays on a daily basis. However, we also see their impact on people who are injured in car accidents caused by traffic congestion.
Every Minute Counts
Thirty-eight extra seconds spent in traffic each day may sound small, but it adds up. TomTom estimates that Chicagoland drivers spent 82 hours, or 3 days and 10 hours, sitting in traffic during rush hour over the course of the whole year. This is 12 hours and 34 minutes more than in 2021.
The worst time to get behind the wheel is Thursday evening rush hour from 5-6 PM, when an average 6-mile trip takes a whopping 26 minutes and 52 seconds.
Not the Most Congested City in the World
The only good news in the data from TomTom is that Chicago isn’t the worst place in the world to drive. That honor goes to Dublin, Ireland.
“The average driver in the Irish city spent over 277 hours commuting last year. That’s more than an hour per working day being lost to travel, with about half of that time being the result of suboptimal traffic flow.”
Traffic Congestion Leads To More Accidents
Unfortunately, time spent sitting in traffic is not the most significant issue caused by congestion. Many drivers respond to traffic congestion with “aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, changing lanes frequently, or becoming angry at anyone who they believe impedes their progress.” These behaviors can all cause accidents or make accidents worse than they otherwise would be.
In order to minimize the risk of driving when there is a lot of traffic you can:
- Reduce distractions inside the car. Put down your phone. Turn off the radio. Avoid any activities that take your focus away from the road.
- Use GPS or your knowledge of the local roads to avoid major congestion.
- Keep a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you. Driving right on their tail will not get you where you want to go any faster.
- Avoid switching lanes. If you need to switch, use your mirrors to observe other drivers and your signals to alert them of your intentions.
Most importantly, be patient with the other drivers on the road. None of you caused the traffic jam, and you are unlikely to make it any better by getting upset about it.
Fueled by Passion. Built on Trust.
With more time spent behind the wheel in Chicago traffic, and drivers behaving recklessly because of that traffic, accidents are bound to occur. When they do, the Vaziri Law LLC team is here for you. We are ready to hold irresponsible parties accountable for their actions and make our roads safer for everyone. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.