Is there more that can be done to prevent wrong way crashes on Illinois' roadways?
For the past year, that's an answer the Illinois Department of Transportation and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville have been seeking, and IDOT spokesman said Thursday.
Despite plenty of standard highway and tollway protocol -- mainly oversized "do not enter" and "wrong way" signs -- the crashes continue to happen. A crash on Lake Shore Drive early Thursday morning was the fourth in the Chicago area in the past month.
"What we're hoping to find out is that perhaps there are some other remedies out there that we could utilize," said IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell.
Year to year the numbers are fairly consistent: 30 to 40 crashes annually in Illinois. But what's changed is the number of fatalities.
"The end result is almost always tragic," said Tridgell.
To diminish those numbers, Tridgell said his department and the university have been evaluating a number of options, including more or different pavement markings, changes to signage and different roadway designs, including those that incorporate varying turning radii and medians.
Studies show the main common denominators in wrong way crashes are alcohol, night time driving and urban driving.