The holiday season can be a dangerous time for Chicago drivers

Chicago is one of the most popular cities in the nation around Christmas. Some may love spending the holidays in the Windy City and exploring all the different shops and lights on display. Others may be driving through the area on their annual road trip towards a different part of the country.

While the holidays are often seen as a celebratory time for many families and workers, anyone who drives through or around Chicago view it as one of the more grueling times of the year. The variety of ways a car can get damaged or the driver is at risk increases exponentially near the end of December, and it is important for motorists to be aware of these hazards so they can keep a close eye out during their annual travels or daily commutes around Christmas and New Year’s.

Carjacking central

Last year, the amount of carjackings in Chicago were at their highest in years. While they have become primarily unpredictable, some trends that police have noticed is that they often occur in downtown, trendy neighborhoods and that they might start out as a “bump-and-run”, in which the suspect intentionally bumps into you to get you out of the car before stealing it from you.

While the police have been hard at work to bring the number down, carjackers are still unpredictable throughout the city. You might be able to lessen your chances if you park closer to the exit of your parking area to get out of the vicinity quickly. Because of the dramatic increase in vehicles around the holidays, these criminals may be more on the lookout for vehicles to steal than any other month in the year. Try avoiding staying in the same spot for too long to warm your vehicle up. You are better off driving in your car cold than without one at all.

Packed vehicles

Traveling by car to a relative’s house may be cheaper than taking a plane, but it does come with its downsides. Those with families may not be able to see outside of their back window with the amount of luggage and gifts they have to take with them. Some pack so much that they have to tie up additional baggage on top of the car when there is no more room. Unfortunately, this additional baggage along with poorly tied traditional Christmas trees have caused more than 200,000 crashes, 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths between 2013 to 2017.

Chicago is one of the biggest shopping cities in the country, so expect to see dozens of cars with additional boxes tied on the top along with some potential Christmas trees. Maintain a safe distance from these drivers and try to switch lanes if you believe they didn’t do a good job tying their load. Even when Christmas is over, you still have a high chance of encountering these drivers. Some people receive large gifts that they cannot fit into their cars.

Reckless motorists

You should know well by now how problematic drunk or distracted drivers are on the roads. Unfortunately, your chances of encountering them around Christmas or New Year’s increase exponentially. Drunk drivers are more likely to appear at night time, but the night sky is more present than ever during December. If you spot any odd driving patterns or notice a driver on their phone, try to move to far away lanes to avoid any potential trouble.

Chicago can be a fantastic city to celebrate the holidays in, but both residents and tourists should take precautions if they plan on driving around these streets. With the chances for car damages increasing exponentially in nearly every category, it is important for people to know their legal options in case they are injured in a crash.

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