Chicago is a busy city, so even in a typical week, you can expect to encounter problems with congestion if you’re traveling by car during peak periods. Things get even more intense during major events, with St. Patrick’s Day being one of the biggest and most boisterous on the annual calendar. If you’re still planning to drive through Chicago on March 17, here are some tips to ensure that this goes as smoothly as possible.
Prepare for Safe Driving on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago
St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate with friends, family, and loved ones, but it can also be a chaotic day if you’re trying to get around the city. This is relevant from a safety perspective because drivers will face more hazards due to the sheer number of people on the streets, and the likelihood of needing to take different routes than normal.
There are a few ways to keep yourself out of harm’s way, so here are a few things to do in preparation:
- Make sure you know what roads are closed due to festivities
- Pay attention when crossing intersections as there may be increased foot traffic
- Check local news sources for updates on expected delays
- Stick strictly within speed limits, especially near parks and residential areas
- Consider alternative routes, such as backstreets or secondary roads, if main highways become congested
- Avoid distractions while operating motor vehicles, like cell phones and GPS devices
- Look both ways before entering an intersection, even when given the right-of-way by traffic lights
- Take extra precautions at night time by leaving plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front
Also be aware that other drivers will be facing the same conditions and conundrums as you, which increases the likelihood of accidents occurring. Drivers of commercial vehicles like trucks are in a particularly tough spot at this time, so if you do get involved in a collision, remember to get in touch with experienced truck accident lawyers, so that you can receive a settlement negotiated by your attorney to compensate for any costs incurred and trauma caused.
Public Transport Options During Busy Times of Year
If you’re trying to get around the city on St. Patrick’s Day, it pays to consider public transport options such as buses and trains. That way you can leave the car at home and save yourself a lot of hassle.
Chicago has an extensive network of transportation services that can take you where you need to go without having your own car or rental vehicle. Just keep in mind these services may be more crowded than usual due to increased demand on this day.
Tips and Tricks For a Stress-Free Drive Through the Windy City
Driving through Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day can be an enjoyable experience, so long as you plan ahead! Make sure you have all necessary items, such as maps or GPS devices, within reach. Also, bring snacks for sustenance, and extra water just in case.
Double-check directions before setting off, especially when relying on GPS on your phone or via your vehicle’s integrated infotainment. That will save you from confusion if you need to re-route on the fly.
Don’t forget to take regular breaks from driving at least every two hours if you’re traveling to Chicago from further afield for a family-friendly weekend. And of course keep up with vehicle maintenance checks regularly, so that any unexpected issues don’t become major problems while out on the road.
The Bottom Line
So long as you’re happy with the likelihood of hold-ups, and you don’t skimp on preparations, driving through Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day is possible. But ideally, you’ll park well away from the center, and use public transport to enjoy the festivities.