Our Chicago accident lawyers read an article in the Chicago Sun-Times that discussed a 2008 fatal drug related car accident. A 20-year-old Tinley Park man who was under the influence of marijuana and Freon was steering his car with his knees so he could text, when he hit a pedestrian. The impact of the collision killed the pedestrian. After hitting the pedestrian, the driver than crashed into a stoplight, and then another automobile. The driver has been sentenced to seven years in jail and was cited, “eight times for driving offenses including speeding, disobeying traffic signals and failing to yield to emergency vehicles” and has been involved in other accidents that resulted in injuries.
After reading this article, our Illinois auto accident lawyers thought that it would be important remind readers of the risks involved with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, as well as the dangers involved with texting while driving.
Driving under the influence is a preventable action, and as seen in this instance, can cause serious injury or death. During the holiday season, many people are likely to have a few drinks at a holiday party with their friends and family. It is important to not drive if you have been drinking, and ask a friend or family member to drive you home. If no one can drive you, call a taxicab or even spend the night at the host’s house. Even if you feel like you can drive home, you should never get on the road when you are under the influence, not only because you can harm yourself, but also because you can harm others on the road.
According to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration program, almost 200 people die on New Year’s, and close to 40% of accidents during the Christmas holiday involve drunk drivers. If you are on the road and see someone who looks like they may be driving drunk, be sure to stay behind them. Try to take down the license plate number and notice other descriptors of the car without compromising your own safety, and call 911.
Texting while driving is completely avoidable, and the problem continues to grow throughout Illinois. Every day, we see drivers on the streets of Chicago looking down at the phones while driving. These unsafe driving practices need to stop. Sites like FCC.gov have good information related to texting while driving. Not only is distracted driving dangerous, but texting while driving is also illegal in Illinois. In order to prevent this unsafe practice, we need to continue educating other drivers about the risks of distracted driving, and teaching new drivers that using cellphones while driving is not acceptable.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys encourage our readers to avoid distractions and also avoid driving while under the influence this holiday season. As we have seen from the Tinley Park accident, these types of accidents aren’t only detrimental to the negligent driver, but also other people on the road.