Mysuburbanlife.com has reported that a driver who was in a car accident in early May of this year has now been arrested and charged with aggravated DUI. Our Chicago car accident lawyers learned that the 20 year-old driver of Geneva, Illinois was driving a 22-year-old passenger who told police the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel before the accident. The passenger allegedly attempted waking up the driver before their car crashed into a line of trees near the Fox River at North Bennet and Dodson streets.
The report states that the car was totaled after the accident and emergency crews quickly responded to the scene. Route 25 was closed for about two hours as a result, and the State Street bridge over the Fox River was temporarily closed so that a helicopter could airlift the passenger in the vehicle to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. Police say the passenger was in critical condition, in contrast to the driver of the car who was not only in stable condition, but had no recollection of the accident. After further investigation, Geneva police issued an arrest for the driver, who turned herself in and was charged with aggravated DUI.
Our Illinois car accident attorneys were surprised to read a release by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which states that every year, more than 10% of drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel, while more than 20% say they have momentarily dozed off. As everyone would agree, sleepiness and driving is a dangerous combination for not only the driver, but all other motorists on the roadway. Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, which slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment, and ultimately increases the risk of an accident occurring. Drowsy driving and fatigue behind the wheel can essentially be just as fatal as drunk driving. The NHTSA estimates that about 100,000 accidents involve drowsiness and/or fatigue as a principal causal factor each year, leading to an estimated 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injures. Currently, New Jersey is the only state that considers driving drowsy as reckless driving, and others states are considering legislation that would allow police to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence if they injure or kill someone while driving.
Overall, the number of accidents that occur due to falling asleep behind the wheel is much too high for a cause that is easily preventable. Our Illinois car accident law firm wants to urge the public to drive as attentively as possible while driving to avoid accidents and injury on the road. Do not drive while drinking or under the influence of alcohol or drugs; even if you feel “buzzed,” your driving skills and judgment will be significantly impaired. If you feel drowsy or fatigued before getting behind the wheel, it is best to avoid driving all together or let someone else drive rather than risking an accident.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a motor vehicle accident. Please contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.