As an experienced Mount Prospect personal injury lawyer, I am familiar with the challenges that the village’s roadways present and why an accident is waiting to happen in many cases. Mount Prospect is an idyllic and diverse Chicago suburb, home to some 56,000 residents. Mount Prospect is a small suburb that offers residents a wide array of activities, including shopping, dining, arts, special events and staying active at local parks. One of Mount Prospect’s main draws is Randhurst Village. Randhurst Village is the site of an exciting redevelopment of Randhurst Mall into an “open-air mixed-use center”. The center offers some 40 stores and restaurants, a state-of-the-art cinema and a 140-room hotel.
Residents commute to Randhurst Village primarily through three roadways: Rand Road, Elmhurst Road and Kensington Road. The three roads form a triangle intersection that has become a nightmare for local residents and often are one of the highest reasons for car accidents. Motorists frequently complain about long delays to get through the intersection. Local homeowners complain about spill-over traffic that makes its way down nearby local streets, an effort to avoid the delays. And worst of all, the congestion and operational failures have led to a slew of auto accidents in Mount Prospect.
In August of 2017, there was a fatal car accident on Elmhurst Avenue involving five vehicles that claimed the life of one person and several other injuries to those involved. The accident was one of two fatal car accidents in Mount Prospect in 2017. In December of 2018, there was a serious crash at the entrance to Randhurst Village on Elmhurst Road. Together, driver frustration and dangerous road conditions have led to Mount Prospect officials searching for solutions to reduce the number of auto accidents and fatal injuries.
Congestion and Multiple Auto Accidents in Mount Prospect Leads to Numerous Personal Injury Traffic Studies
In 2017, a study was conducted along Rand Road to look at ways to improve transportation and urban planning in order to reduce the number of accidents. One of the recommendations of the study were some traffic flow adjustments. The Department of Transportation resurfaced both Central Road and Mount Prospect Road from Rand Road to Busse Avenue. In addition, there were some changes made to the right-turn lanes along Mount Prospect Plaza and Mount Prospect Road. The improvements have benefited motorists exiting Mount Prospect Plaza at Rand Road.
However, following the 2017 study, concerns over traffic at the intersection of Rand, Elmhurst and Kensington roads led to the village of Mount Prospect hiring an engineering firm. Patrick Engineering was hired in the Spring of last year to the tune of $243,124. In addition to collecting traffic data, the study will also use traffic modeling software, create several conceptual plans for discussion and provide the community with an opportunity to contribute to a preferred plan through open houses. The study is scheduled to be completed at the end of this year. Construction according to the implemented plan will begin in 2020 or 2021. As injury lawyers who have seen many of these cases, we are glad that the village of Mt. Prospect is taking action.
Statistics on Auto Accidents & Injuries at Intersections
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some 40 percent of all auto accidents occur at intersections, second to only to rear-end collisions. In addition, 50 percent of serious auto accidents occur at intersections, as well as 20 percent of fatal collisions. And the accidents are not just limited to vehicles. Approximately 13 percent of all fatalities due to accidents at intersections involve pedestrians. Bicyclists that are victim to auto accidents fare slightly better at 3 percent.
The statistics are, perhaps, not altogether surprising. Intersections are generally congested, a higher volume of cars leading to confusion and errors in human judgment and causing auto accidents. Concerns over intersection safety are not at all new. Government officials have been studying intersection safety and the correlation to accidents for many years. Their findings have led to the widespread implementation of roundabouts, continuous flow intersections and restricted crossing U-turn intersections. While the changes have improved safety, the statistics reflect that a disproportionate amount of auto accidents occur at intersections. With that in mind, drivers can benefit from exercising the best safety practices to avoid personal injuries from accidents.
Intersection Safety Rules to avoid Serious Injuries
According to Drive-safely.net, there are a number of rules for defensive drivers to practice when approaching and crossing intersections.
- Make sure you are in the correct lane before you reach an intersection. Be mindful of other drivers’ “blind spots” and avoid them
- Signal your turns well in advance so other drivers know your intentions
- Avoid distractions like loud music, conversations and especially use of your cell phone. Keep your hands on the wheel and be prepared to step on the brake
- Keep a steady distance from the car in front of you. When you see their brake lights apply your brake as well. A good rule of thumb is to maintain one car length
- Scan the intersection. Look for stoplights, traffic signs, turning lights, pedestrians, crosswalks and bike lanes. Look for other vehicles – in front of you, behind you, next to you and oncoming traffic
- Exercise caution when stopped at a stop sign. Understand who has the right of way – whoever reaches the intersection first, followed by the driver to the right
- When approaching yellow lights consider your speed, the distance to the light and the amount of time the light has been yellow. If there is not enough time to safely cross the intersection than come to a stop
- When making a right on red make sure there is no restriction. If not, make sure your path is clear of oncoming cars, pedestrians and cyclists before proceeding
- In a roundabout make sure you know who has the right of way. The vehicles currently in the roundabout have the right of way. Never stop in a roundabout unless you are forced to by traffic. Do not change lanes and be aware of pedestrians and cyclists as roundabouts can be significantly more dangerous than typical intersections
- Never enter an intersection if traffic is backed up into the intersection. Wait until the intersection is clear before proceeding
- Do not change lanes in the middle of an intersection
- Always be mindful that other drivers may not be obeying the rules. Be prepared that another driver may run a red light or stop sign
Obeying the above rules will help you to avoid auto accidents at intersections. Exercise caution when driving around Randhurst Village in Mt. Prospect. Hopefully the study will result in some useful suggestions and changes that will make our roadways safer.
The string of fatal car accidents in Mount Prospect over the years have been devastating losses for the community. It is important that we exercise caution and abide by safety guidelines to minimize pedestrian car accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in a pedestrian car accident, contact our Mount Prospect auto accident lawyers to discuss your rights.