Most dangerous roads in Chicago

The City of Chicago keeps a public log of crash data, making it easy to identify which roads are the most dangerous. While nobody can guarantee a safe journey, knowing which roads pose greater dangers can help everyone take extra precautions when navigating them.

We analyzed data on traffic crashes between January and December 2022 from the Chicago Data Portal to identify the most dangerous roads in Chicago.

After evaluating the figures for total accidents, fatalities, and serious injuries, we created the following ranking of the top five roads in Chicago with the worst safety records. Be sure to take extra precautions when navigating these routes — and if you do get into an accident, don’t hesitate to contact Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates to speak with an attorney.

1. Lake Shore Drive NB & SB

most dangerous roads in chicago lake shore drive

Total number of accidents 1,811
Fatalities 6
Serious injuries 59
% of accidents resulting in serious or fatal injuries 3.6%

Located along the shore of Lake Michigan, Lake Shore Drive is an iconic road in Chicago — but it’s also one of the most dangerous. This may be due in part to the roadway’s pleasant scenery which tempts drivers to take their eyes off the road to enjoy the views. Beaches, parks, and other attractions also line the drive, increasing the risk of drunk and distracted driving by visitors.

2. Archer Avenue

most dangerous roads in chicago archer avenue

Total number of accidents 1,132
Fatalities 7
Serious injuries 32
% of accidents resulting in serious or fatal injuries 3.4%

Archer Avenue is one of Chicago’s most hectic roads. Running through the city’s Southwest Side. The roadway passes through several busy hotspots such as McKinley Park and Chicago Midway International Airport. This, combined with the many freight trains that cross Archer Avenue, makes for a dangerous mix of traffic.

3. Michigan Avenue

most dangerous roads in chicago michigan avenue

Total number of accidents 1,291
Fatalities 4
Serious injuries 34
% of accidents resulting in serious or fatal injuries 2.9%

Michigan Avenue is a major thoroughfare in downtown Chicago, connecting Lake Shore Drive to the Magnificent Mile and Millennium Park. With its close proximity to popular tourist attractions and its central location among Chicago’s towering skyscrapers, Michigan Avenue is often heavily congested with cars, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians. The road is also a one-way street at certain points, which can be confusing to some drivers, adding to its danger.

4. Stony Island Avenue

most dangerous roads in chicago stony island avenue

Total number of accidents 1,049
Fatalities 5
Serious injuries 25
% of accidents resulting in serious or fatal injuries 2.9%

Stony Island Avenue is another major Chicago roadway, running from the South Side to the city’s far Southeast Side.  The road passes through several residential areas, as well as the University of Chicago and Jackson Park, adding significant pedestrian traffic to the area.

Adding to that, many of Stony Island Avenue’s intersections with smaller residential roads lack traffic signals, leading to a higher risk of collisions.

5. Ashland Avenue

most dangerous roads in chicago ashland avenue

Total number of accidents 2,398
Fatalities 3
Serious injuries 63
% of accidents resulting in serious or fatal injuries 2.8%

Running north and south through the Near West Side of Chicago, Ashland Avenue is one of the city’s most heavily traveled roads. The road features several intersections with busier thoroughfares, creating a greater risk of accidents due to the increased number of vehicles.

Ashland Avenue also passes through numerous densely populated suburban neighborhoods with heavy foot traffic, making it a hotspot for collisions between cars and pedestrians.

A safer future is within reach

While these five roads pose a greater risk than most, traffic safety is a widespread issue that deserves attention throughout the city. Fortunately, the city has adopted initiatives to reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities and injuries in Chicago

A notable leader in this movement is Vision Zero Chicago, led in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, the Chicago Department of Transportation, and other major state and city agencies. Vision Zero believes that no traffic-related fatalities or injuries are acceptable and aims to eliminate them with a combination of engineering, enforcement, and education.

This includes designing streets with human life as a top priority, targeted shifts in the behaviors and perceptions of roadway users, and implementing training and technologies to encourage safer driving habits. Even with these initiatives, it will take a collective effort to keep our roads safe, and all Chicagoans can do their part by driving mindfully and following traffic laws.

Chicago has the potential to become a model for safer streets and roads throughout the nation, but the above data shows that our city still has a long way to go. The reality is that countless people are severely injured in traffic crashes every day in and around Chicago, and those people deserve justice.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the Chicago car accident attorneys with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates may be able to help you recover damages for your losses. Contact us at (800) 985-1819 to schedule a free consultation and begin exploring your legal options.