Most Dangerous Roads in Chicago, IL

Most Dangerous Roads in Chicago, IL

Whether you’re just visiting Chicago or call the city home, Chicago’s infamous traffic is something you can’t avoid. Chicago has been ranked the second worst city for drivers thanks to gridlock, a high number of distracted driving accidents, and time lost to congestion. 

Driving in Chicago isn’t just frustrating; in 2023 alone, there were 2,033 accidents that caused incapacitating or fatal injuries. Accidents in intersections account for just 23% of crashes but 33% of traffic deaths and 44% of injuries. Intersection-related accidents are more likely to involve pedestrians, bicyclists, and T-bone crashes. 

A handful of roads in Chicago see a large share of the city’s fatal car crashes and serious injuries. Here are the most dangerous roads and intersections in Chicago based on the number of crashes in 2023 with serious injuries or fatalities.

Halsted Street – 50 Serious Crashes

Part of IL 1, Halsted Street is one of the longest roads in Chicago. It runs north-south from Lakeview in the North Side through the South Side before ending in Steger, about 35 miles outside Chicago. 

In 2023, there were 50 accidents along Halsted Street that caused eight fatalities and 77 serious injuries. 

Pulaski Road – 60 Serious Crashes

Among the longest roads in Chicago, Pulaski Road stretches 39 miles. It runs north-south from Wilmette near Evanston to Matteson in the Southland area. In Chicago, it runs through many neighborhoods in the Northwest Side, West Side, Southwest Side, and Far Southwest Side. 

In 2023, there were 60 serious accidents on Pulaski Road that caused four deaths and 97 injuries. Many of these accidents occurred near highway exits and entrances for I-90/I-94, I-55, and IL 64. 

Western Avenue – 59 Serious Crashes

As the longest continuous road in Chicago, it’s no surprise Western Avenue has one of the highest number of crashes in the city. Western Avenue stretches 27 miles south from Howard Street at the border with Evanston to the city limits at 119th Street. It continues another 26 miles to the Will-Kanakee county line. It runs through the Far North, North, West, Southwest, and Far Southwest sides. 

In 2023, Western Avenue saw 59 serious car accidents. These crashes caused four fatalities and 93 injuries. 

Cicero Avenue – 58 Serious Crashes

Cicero Avenue is a major corridor in Chicago and a gateway to the city for people arriving at Midway Airport. It’s also a major commercial anchor for many Southwest Side neighborhoods. Cicero Avenue is one of the ten most used truck routes in Cook County with heavy freight movement. 

Known as Cicero Avenue in Chicago and western suburbs, it runs 66.5 miles north-south. It runs from US 45 and US 52 in Kankakee to US 41 in Skokie. In Chicago, Cicero Avenue has interchanges with I-55 (Stevenson Expressway), I-290 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway), and I-94 (Edens Expressway). It leaves Chicago at the US 14 intersection at Peterson Avenue. 

There were 58 serious accidents along Cicero Avenue in 2023 with four fatalities and 79 injuries.

A Cicero Avenue Corridor Study is underway to evaluate safety improvements and infrastructure upgrades. 

State Street – 29 Serious Crashes

Another one of Chicago’s main north-south streets, State Street’s intersection with Madison Street is the base point for the Chicago grid-based address system. It runs from North Avenue in Lincoln Park (Near North Side) through the Chicago Loop, Near South Side, South Side, and Far Southeast Side. It ends at 127th Street along the Little Calumet River, then picks up again to continue through the southern suburbs. State Street is home to some of the top landmarks in downtown Chicago and the South Side. 

There were 29 serious or fatal accidents along State Street in 2023. These accidents caused three fatalities and 60 injuries. 

E 79th St & S Stony Island Ave (South Shore)

The notoriously complicated intersection of 79th Street, Stony Island Avenue, and South Chicago Avenue – with Chicago Skyway on-ramps and off-ramps – is often described as a nightmare. There are no protected bike lanes with overlapping flows of traffic, three bus routes, and a confusing structure. Space is also tight with the nearby expressway and rail lines. Between 2018 and 2020 alone, there were 196 crashes in the intersection that caused one death, nine incapacitating injuries, and 42 other injuries. 

A planned study has been a high priority for the intersection to create a redesign proposal and get federal funding. 

E 95th St & S Stony Island Ave (South Side)

The second-most dangerous intersection in Chicago is in the South Side at the Stony Island Plaza shopping center. In a recent two-year timespan, there were 160 crashes at this intersection, with one death and four serious injuries. 

W Garfield Blvd & S Wentworth Ave (South Side)

There were fewer crashes at this South Side intersection, but it had the second-highest number of serious injuries in Chicago between 2018 and 2020. In a two-year period, there were 141 accidents here that caused six incapacitating injuries and 55 total injuries. 

W Garfield Blvd & S Wells St (South Side)

The next intersection is next to the former and saw 131 crashes in two years. These accidents caused four serious injuries and 42 total injuries. 

N Michigan Ave & E Wacker Dr (The Loop)

The final intersection on this list is in the Loop on the south shore of the Chicago River next to Riverwalk. Distracted driving, following too closely, and failure to yield are major factors contributing to crashes here. Over two years, there were 125 crashes at the intersection, with three serious injuries. 

The Loop is also one of the most accident-prone areas in Chicago. There were 11 traffic deaths in the area between 2018 and 2020. 

Consult an Attorney if You Are Injured in an Accident on a Dangerous Road 

There is simply no avoiding these dangerous intersections and roads when driving in Chicago. To reduce your risk of a crash, remember to leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you, avoid speeding, and don’t take your eyes off the road during traffic jams.

Even if you take all of the necessary precautions to avoid an accident on a dangerous road, you may still be involved in a collision. When this happens, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney to learn about your legal options.