Chicago Needs to Address Its Speeding Problem

Chicago is no stranger to dangerous roads. In a city so populated, you have to expect accidents. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take measures to avoid accidents. Speeding is a common occurrence on our streets, and it is one of the biggest factors behind catastrophic injuries from car accidents. When there is a fatal accident, more often than not, speeding was a factor.

In Chicago’s Southwest Side, a severe crash occurred involving a high-speed collision between a white Ford Mustang and a Toyota SUV at the intersection of 59th and Pulaski around 4:30 a.m on June 23rd of this year. Surveillance footage captured the accident, showing the Mustang crashing into the SUV that was attempting a left turn. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage, coming to rest in a convenience store parking lot. The 50-year-old Toyota SUV driver was critically injured and taken to the hospital. The Mustang driver attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended a few blocks away and also hospitalized. The crash scene depicted a split SUV and scattered debris, resulting in street closures for cleanup. While some residents noted ongoing issues with drag racing (street racing) in the area, the authorities have not confirmed it as a contributing factor. 23rd Ward Alderwoman, Silvana Tabares, called for accountability for reckless driving and drag racing on public streets. As investigations continue, no charges or citations have been issued.

What makes speeding so dangerous?

Whether someone is late to work or simply impatient, it doesn’t matter why someone is speeding. The auto accident that comes from it leaves the same injuries and consequences.

While speeding is a common misdemeanor all over the country, the catastrophic disasters that they cause remain. Reasons why speeding is so dangerous include:

  • Reduced reaction time. Speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to unexpected situations, such as sudden stops or obstacles in the road. This can lead to more severe collisions and less time to avoid accidents.
  • Increased stopping distance. Higher speeds require longer distances to come to a complete stop. If a driver encounters an obstruction or a sudden hazard, the increased stopping distance could prevent them from avoiding a collision.
  • Greater impact force. The force of impact in a collision is directly proportional to the speed at which the vehicles are traveling. As speed increases, so does the force of impact, leading to more severe injuries and damage.
  • Reduced control. Speeding makes it harder to control a vehicle, especially around corners, bends, and in adverse weather conditions. Loss of control can result in skidding, sliding, or rollover accidents.
  • Decreased visibility. High speeds can limit a driver’s ability to perceive and react to road conditions, signage, and other vehicles. This can lead to missing crucial information and increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Risk to pedestrians. Pedestrians are more vulnerable to accidents when vehicles are traveling at high speeds. Drivers might have less time to react to pedestrians crossing the road or pedestrians may misjudge the speed of approaching vehicles.
  • Effect on severity of injuries. The force generated by speeding collisions can result in more severe injuries, including broken bones, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and fatalities.

Why drag racing is even more dangerous

While speeding on its own is dangerous, the speeding that comes from drag racing or street racing can be even moreso. It often occurs under the cover of darkness, making it hard to avoid racers when they come tearing down a road or around corners. It’s not as though there’s a planned race, which means that there can be a crush of unexpected spectators who learned about it through their friends or social media; that leaves law enforcement unaware of a potential problem, and can make it difficult for emergency services to reach an injured person. Adding to the risk, many vehicles used in drag racing undergo special modifications to enhance their speed, which in turn increases the likelihood of severe injuries in case of an accident.

Catastrophic injuries caused by speeding

Speeding accidents can leave victims with catastrophic injuries that often have life-altering consequences. Some of these injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). High-speed collisions can lead to severe head trauma, causing traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can result in cognitive impairments, memory loss, motor deficits, and changes in behavior and mood.
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCI). Accidents at high speeds can lead to spinal cord damage, resulting in paralysis or loss of motor function. Depending on the severity of the injury, victims may experience paraplegia or quadriplegia.
  • Severe fractures. The impact of a speeding vehicle can cause bone fractures that are more complex and difficult to heal. Compound fractures, where the bone breaks through the skin, pose a higher risk of infection and complications.
  • Internal organ damage. The force of impact can cause internal organs to be bruised, lacerated, or ruptured, leading to severe bleeding and potential organ failure.
  • Amputations. High-speed accidents can result in traumatic amputations, where limbs or body parts are severed or mangled beyond repair.
  • Crush injuries. Victims may suffer crush injuries when their body gets trapped between objects during a collision, causing extensive tissue damage, broken bones, and potential complications.
  • Burn injuries. Collisions at high speeds can lead to fires or explosions, causing severe burn injuries that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Emotional trauma. Beyond physical injuries, victims of high-speed accidents may experience lasting emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.
  • Death. In the most tragic cases, accidents involving speeding vehicles can lead to fatalities, leaving families devastated by the loss of their loved ones.

These catastrophic injuries can result in extensive medical expenses, lifelong disabilities, and emotional suffering. Victims of accidents caused by speeding vehicles may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages through legal actions.

We want to emphasize the immense danger of speeding in any context. It’s crucial to adopt defensive driving strategies, remain vigilant for reckless drivers, and avoid getting involved with them.

If you happen to encounter a street race or drag race, we implore you – please, distance yourself from these people seeking attention. Lives are being tragically lost; we sincerely hope your family doesn’t become the next one mourning.

Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers, based in Chicago, is dedicated to assisting clients across Illinois with personal injury cases. If you’ve suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to a speeding driver, allow us to offer our support. We will make you our priority so that you may receive the financial compensation you deserve. Reach out to our Chicago car accident lawyers by calling us or completing our contact form. Your free consultation comes at no cost.