Chicago vs. Indianapolis: Road Safety

Oct 10

Both Chicago and Indianapolis are bustling metropolitan areas with their unique driving challenges. This analysis dives into which city might be safer for drivers by examining a variety of safety metrics and statistics. Each city has its pros and cons, and understanding them can help you make safer driving decisions. Should you find yourself in a vehicle accident in either city, the perceived safety may change dramatically for you personally.

Serious accidents can occur in any setting, whether the area is known for high traffic incidents or not. You deserve proficient, reliable legal counsel regardless of where your accident occurred. Skilled car accident attorneys are ready to investigate your case to determine fault and help secure the compensation you deserve.

State-Level Traffic Fatality Analysis

Comparing Chicago and Indianapolis in terms of traffic safety is crucial, especially when considering fatality rates. Interestingly, even though Illinois has a larger population than Indiana, fatality rates per 100 million miles traveled were higher in Illinois for the year 2020.

Illinois Traffic Safety Data

  • Population: 12,785,245
  • Vehicle miles traveled (millions): 94,121
  • Fatal crashes: 1,087
  • Deaths: 1,194
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 9.3
  • Deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled: 1.27

Indiana Traffic Safety Data

  • Population: 6,785,644
  • Vehicle miles traveled (millions): 76,608
  • Fatal crashes: 897
  • Deaths per 100,000 population: 13.2
  • Deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled: 1.17

Analysis of Driver Fault in Accidents

Evaluating the safety of driving in Chicago versus Indianapolis also involves examining the incidence of at-fault car accidents. Analysis by Insurify provides insights into which cities experience higher rates of driver fault in car accidents.

Incidence of At-Fault Accidents in Suburban Areas

  • In Muncie, a suburb of Indianapolis, 13.12 percent of drivers have been previously at fault in accidents, which is 1.20 times more than the state average. Additionally, 8.18 percent had experienced no-fault accidents.
  • Conversely, in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, the rate of drivers with previous at-fault accidents stands at 11.82 percent, which is 1.54 times the state average, with 5.16 percent involved in no-fault accidents.

Automobile Collision Statistics by County

Marion County, Indiana, home to Indianapolis, recorded the highest number of road accidents in the state for 2020, the latest year data is available. The county witnessed 28,701 accidents, leading to 135 fatalities and 23,569 incidents involving only property damage. Over nine percent of these mishaps were due to speeding, while alcohol was a factor in 1.2 percent of the cases. Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is situated, registered 156,359 crashes in 2020, involving 314,725 vehicles, resulting in 460 deaths, 41,061 injuries, and 126,542 vehicles damaged. Alcohol-related incidents numbered over 2,270, with a 14 percent rise in speeding-related accidents from the previous year. Despite harsh winter conditions, most accidents in both cities happened during clear weather. Additional causes of vehicle accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Sleep-deprived driving
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Poor vehicle upkeep
  • Defects from vehicle manufacturers
  • Badly designed roadways or intersections

Riskiest Streets and Junctions in Chicago

Chicago’s complex network of roads and public transit can make its streets and intersections particularly hazardous:

  • Stony Island Avenue at South Chicago Avenue
  • E 79th Street and South Stony Island Ave
  • E 95th Street and South Stony Island Ave
  • Western Avenue at Peterson Avenue
  • Kedzie Avenue at Belmont Avenue
  • Lincoln and Clark
  • Milwaukee Avenue
  • Cicero Avenue and 127th Street
  • La Grange Road at I-80 westbound ramp
  • Ogden Avenue at Illinois 59
  • 22nd Street at Kingery Highway
  • Bolingbrook Drive at the Southbound ramp to I-55
  • West Garfield Boulevard and South Wentworth Avenue
  • W Garfield Boulevard and South Wells Street
  • N Michigan Avenue and East Wacker Drive
  • West Cermak Road and South Clark Street

Hazardous Roads and Intersections in Indianapolis

Due to multiple intersecting freeways and confusing junctions, Indianapolis contains numerous dangerous roads:

  • West 86th Street between Michigan and Harcourt Roads
  • West 38th Street from Boulevard Place to Meridian Street
  • West 34th and 38th Streets, between Moller Road west to I-465
  • East 38th Street from the State Fairgrounds to Sherman Avenue
  • Meridian and Illinois Streets between 14th and 34th Streets
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Street between 25th and 30th Streets
  • West 10th Street from Tibbs Avenue to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street
  • East 10th Street from Woodruff Place to Arlington Avenue
  • East Washington Street from Willard Park to Arlington Avenue
  • West Washington St. from I-465 to Holt Road
  • 82nd Street and Allisonville Road
  • Emerson Avenue, particularly at the intersection with Thompson Road, Southport Road, I-465, and Main Street
  • East Street and Thompson Road
  • I-465 with US 31, and Meridian Street

Types of Vehicular Collisions

In both Chicago and Indianapolis, numerous common vehicular collisions occur. The type of collision can be indicative of the potential severity of injuries and damage. Some collisions may appear devastating yet result in only minor injuries, while others, seemingly minor, can cause significant harm. No matter the type or scale of your injuries, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer to assess possible compensation claims. The most frequent types of accidents in these cities include:

Sideswipe Collisions

  • These typically happen when two vehicles are moving side by side in the same direction, often due to blind spots or failure to check mirrors before lane changes.

Rear-end Collisions

  • Commonly occur from distractions, excessive speed, or following too closely, potentially leading to severe neck and back injuries, especially if the following vehicle was at a high speed.

Head-on Collisions

  • These are among the most severe types of accidents and usually involve the front ends of two vehicles colliding while traveling at high speeds, often on rural roads or highway ramps.

T-Bone Collisions

  • These happen at intersections when one driver fails to adhere to traffic signals, resulting in one vehicle crashing into the side of another.

Rollover Accidents

  • Particularly dangerous, especially if occupants are not wearing seatbelts, often triggered by driver fatigue, vehicle overcorrection, or unstable road shoulders.

Merging Accidents

  • Occur when vehicles attempt to merge into traffic without adequate spacing or speed adjustment, typically leading to collisions at high speeds and significant damages.

Contact a Skilled Road Safety and Accident Attorney in Indiana

Blackburn Romey is a well-established law firm with over 120 years of combined experience in handling road safety and accident cases. Contact us online or at (833) 274-3533 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.

Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Tom Blackburn, who has more than 47 years of legal experience, including over 39 years specializing as a personal injury attorney.