The Deadliest Highway Stretches in Illinois

When it comes to highway fatalities, Illinois is one of the safest states to drive in. Thirty-six states have a higher number of deaths per population, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to exercise caution when driving through the Prairie State. 

Some stretches of highway are more dangerous than others. Unpredictable winter weather can make driving conditions more hazardous in Illinois. Heavy traffic and poor road signs can also add to the rate of accidents on certain stretches of road. 

Most Dangerous Highways

With 869 accidents between 2018 and 2020, Cook County reported the highest number of crashes in the state. Considering Cook County is also the most densely populated county in Illinois, that may not come as a surprise. Having more people on the roads can lead to more accidents. 

Avoiding busy highways isn’t always possible, especially if you are commuting to and from work. To help make your drive safer, avoid driving in rush-hour traffic and allow yourself extra time when weather conditions are bad. Use special care if you need to travel on the most dangerous roads. 

1. I-55 Stevenson Expressway

The I-55 runs north-south and connects Chicago with St. Louis, MO. The interstate becomes heavily congested in the Chicago area and is known as a place where high numbers of fatal crashes, including truck, bus, and motorcycle accidents, happen. It is a major route for commercial trucking, increasing the risk of road debris and shutdowns. 

2. I-290 Eisenhower Expressway

The Illinois Department of Transportation reports an average of 2,000 motor vehicle accidents on the Eisenhower Expressway every year. I-290 is a major roadway that brings commuters and goods into Chicago. While undergoing a three-phase construction project, the expressway had even higher collision rates. Fortunately, that major project has been completed. 

3. U.S. Route 45

U.S. 45 may be the most dangerous stretch of highway in the entire state, with a recorded 11 fatalities per year. This highway spans the Ohio River at Brookport and runs through rural areas of eastern Illinois before connecting with suburban Chicago. 

Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Illinois

Following traffic laws can help you avoid being in a car accident, no matter where you’re driving. 


The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that speeding increases the likelihood and severity of a crash. Every 1% increase in speed increases your risk of a fatal crash by 4%. 

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving includes the use of cell phones, eating while driving, or tending to children in the back seat when your eyes should be on the road. WHO reports that drivers who use cell phones are four times more likely to be in a crash than drivers who put their phones away. 

Driving Under the Influence

Driving while impaired by alcohol or substances is one of the leading causes of fatal crashes. According to WHO, the risk of being in a vehicle crash increases even when the driver’s blood alcohol content is at or below 0.04. That’s half the legal limit in Illinois.  

What To Do If You Are in an Auto Accident in Illinois

If you are involved in an auto accident on an Illinois highway, follow all standard protocols. Get yourself and your vehicle out of the flow of traffic if it is safe to do so. Call 911 and seek medical care for any injuries. If you or one of your passengers was injured because of another driver’s negligence, consult an Illinois personal injury attorney to learn more about protecting your legal rights. 

Contact Our Chicago Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Chicago, Illinois, and need legal help, contact our experienced car accident lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Cook County and its surrounding areas:

Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
134 N La Salle St #2160
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 929-2884