Navigating Chicago Safely: Legal Tips for Residents and Visitors

Navigating Chicago Safely: Legal Tips for Residents and Visitors

Chicago is a popular city and travel destination with a rich culture, delicious food, and beautiful sightseeing. From deep-dish Chicago-style pizza to the Art Institute of Chicago, there are plenty of things to enjoy for both residents and tourists. Like any large city, it’s important to keep yourself safe and healthy when dealing with large populations. Whether you’re temporarily enjoying the Windy City or calling it home, there are a few ways to ensure safety when in public spaces and on your own.

Traffic Safety

Chicago streets are very busy with public transit, taxis, commercial vehicles, and personal cars. Those unfamiliar with the area can easily get into accidents when not paying attention. Be alert and avoid distractions. Any sightseeing can be done outside of the car, not while driving. It’s not worth the accident! Alternatively, Chicago residents should be mindful of any new drivers in the city who may be unfamiliar with directions, and be watchful for sudden stops or wrong turns.

Pedestrian and Biking Safety

Many tourists enjoy walking or renting a bicycle to navigate the city, particularly around historic areas or during sightseeing tours. Residents and tourists alike need to be mindful of bicycles, pedestrians, and motorists that may interrupt travel. Similarly to driving, it’s important to avoid distractions and maintain focus on the road and those around you. Wait until it’s safe to cross any streets, even crosswalks. Don’t allow your car door to obstruct biking lanes or sidewalks.

Public Transit Safety

Anyone can ride on public transit, so it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings and hold them close to your person. If anyone threatens you verbally or with a weapon, it’s typically smarter to give up your belongings instead of risking your life for them, however. Be polite and mindful of others to make public transit an enjoyable and stress-free experience for all. Be certain to report any illegal behavior or activities to public transit employees, security officers, or the authorities if applicable.

Public Disputes

When crowds mingle together, not everyone may get along, especially when alcohol is involved. Sporting events, bars, and clubs may increase the risk of disagreements or even fights. It’s important to know when to walk away and report any harmful behavior to authorities.

Navigating Chicago Safely: Legal Tips for Residents and Visitors


Walking with confidence can help you avoid becoming a target of robbery. However, it can happen regardless of confidence or personality. Know when to hand over your belongings to keep yourself safe, especially if a robber has a weapon. Items can be replaced, but a life cannot. When around other people, it may be ideal to shout or yell for help if you feel that your life is in danger.

Fighting or Threats

Individuals under the influence of alcohol or who may be intolerant of all cultures and backgrounds can try to start fights or threaten both Chicago residents and tourists. While many people work hard to keep the city safe for everyone, problems can still happen. Don’t be embarrassed to yell for help and report to authorities when needed. Self-defense classes can also benefit in these cases, but fighting back should only be a last resort; running or finding others is typically the ideal response.


Kidnappers look to target young, small, or vulnerable individuals for a variety of reasons from human trafficking to hostage situations. Avoid traveling alone, particularly at night, for this reason. If you must travel alone, lock hotel doors properly, stick to populated areas, and avoid accepting rides from strangers (outside of taxis or rideshare services). Be certain to confirm license plates with any rideshare service you take.

Natural Disasters or Inclement Weather

Inclement weather such as snowstorms or tornadoes aren’t uncommon in Chicago. Keep an eye on any inclement weather alerts on your phone or online. Seek shelter when the weather gets bad, and dress appropriately for the season. Don’t drive when travel advisories are in effect. When in doubt, stay where you are if it is safe to do so; travel can wait until it is safer.

Health and Illness

Be proactive in preventing illness or diseases by wearing a mask when traveling through crowded areas, especially if you’re feeling sick. Stay home when you can if you feel unwell. Be certain to check reviews for restaurants to avoid potentially catching foodborne illnesses as well.

What to Do When the Worst Happens

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, violent crime, or natural disaster, it’s important to seek medical attention and report to authorities as soon as possible. In Chicago, seeking compensation for negligence resulting in injury is possible, especially in terms of automobile or pedestrian accidents. Research and contact Chicago injury lawyers to see if your case is eligible.


The Windy City is home to a lot of beautiful architecture, culture, and history. Many people visit or move to this city each year. Like any other big city, crime or accidents do happen, especially when people aren’t careful. You can take measures to prevent crime or safety issues while traveling through Chicago. If you’ve been injured by another person or business’s negligence, however, contacting an attorney may be your best bet after seeking medical attention and filing a police report.

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