Chicago has gotten a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, causing many people to not want to visit. This is unfortunate because Chicago has some of the richest cultures, tastiest food, and best landmarks in the United States. The good news is that Chicago isn’t as dangerous as the media portrays it to be— if you stay in safer neighborhoods, which is a general rule of thumb for all of America’s big cities.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful when visiting Chicago. While some are less likely to happen to tourists than others, here are the six leading causes of death and injuries in the state of Illinois.
#1: Workplace Injuries
This doesn’t apply to those visiting Chicago (unless they’re visiting for work), but workplace injuries (and deaths) are common in Chicago and the entire state of Illinois. In most places, slips/trips/falls are the leading causes of injuries in the workplace, but they’re second (to transportation accidents) in the state of Illinois.
Certain industries are more dangerous than others, but workplace injuries can happen in any type of workplace. They can range in severity from a paper cut to losing a limb or death.
#2: Sports Injuries
Sports injuries don’t just occur in athletes— these injuries can happen to anyone playing outdoor (and indoor) sports, as well as exercising. For both residents and visitors to Chicago, it’s important to warm up properly before you engage in vigorous physical activity. If a sports injury does occur, follow the RICE acronym for proper care:
Fires are in the top five when it comes to deaths and injuries in the state of Illinois, and they’re most likely to occur in homes without working smoke detectors. However, this doesn’t mean that tourists visiting Chicago should be careful. Whether you’re staying in a hotel, Airbnb, or any other type of lodging, it’s important to be careful with cigarettes, curling irons, and heaters, and to watch your food when cooking. It’s also important not to leave small children unattended— especially around these items— as fires are more likely to start when these items are in their possession.
#4: Elder Falls
Aside from the workplace, falls can happen anywhere, but they’re usually the most deadly in older individuals. As we age, we begin to lose bone density, making fracturing and breaking bones much easier. Older individuals must exercise extra caution when walking around a big city like Chicago, as slips and falls can occur in parks, grocery stores, and shopping centers.
Of course, people of any age can become injured from a fall, so everyone should exercise caution when walking around. Pay attention to uneven sidewalks and slippery floors to prevent such accidents.
Chicago doesn’t lie near an ocean, but there are “beaches” on Lake Michigan. North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular ones in Chicago, making it a must-see attraction for many tourists. Because of this, it’s important to understand the risks of drowning— for people of all ages. Even if there are lifeguards around, it’s important that you stay out of deep waters if you don’t know how to swim.
Learning CPR is a useful skill to have. Even though you can’t perform it on yourself, you can be ready if a friend, family member, or any other person suddenly stops breathing or has a near-drowning experience.
#6: Automobile Accidents
Tourists in Chicago are more likely to be involved in a car accident than any other type of accident on this list. Unfortunately, Chicago and the entire state of Illinois have had an increase in traffic accident deaths, including pedestrian accidents. It’s important to get legal help for injured pedestrians and drivers/passengers of other cars because these accidents can be serious. If automobile accidents don’t result in death, they can result in broken bones, whiplash, TBI (traumatic brain injury), and many other types of serious and non-serious injuries.
Automobile accidents, workplace injuries, and accidental drownings are the top three (non-health-related) leading causes of death and injury in Chicago and all of Illinois. When visiting Chicago (and staying in the safer neighborhoods), you don’t have to worry about crime, but you should exercise caution when driving and visiting one of Chicago’s beaches. No matter where you go or what you do, you should exercise caution because accidents can happen at any time.