On Tuesday, The News-Gazette reported about a DUI accident in Paris, IL that resulted in two fatalities. The negligent driver who caused the accident was charged with aggravated driving under the influence. She was driving her SUV on a rural road and nearly caused a head on collision with another car. When the other car swerved to avoid the head on collision, the SUV struck the side of her car. The two women killed, one in her 70’s and one in her late teens, were passengers in the car that the SUV struck.
As our Chicago car accident attorneys have mentioned before, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is completely avoidable and preventable. This accident illustrates the devastating consequences that can occur when drivers make bad decisions.
Not only is alcohol a depressant, but it also alters a person’s ability to stay alert, aware, and react in certain situations. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can slow a person’s motor skills, making it difficult for someone to turn wheel or brake quickly. Drugs, on the other hand, can be both a depressant and a stimulant depending on the drug. While a depressant drug has similar affects on motor skills as alcohol, stimulants do the opposite. They increase the heart rate, and speed up metabolism, which can also affect a person’s driving skills.
It is illegal nationwide in the United States to drive under the influence, regardless of the drug or alcohol. Driving under the influence can not only harm the negligent driver, but may also harm others on the road, as shown in The News-Gazette article. Some organizations, such as Stop Impaired Driving are partaking in national campaigns that discourage drivers from driving under the influence. The organization discusses new programs, such as sobriety checkpoints, and new state initiatives. It also posts about related campaigns that work towards the same goal of eliminating drunk drivers on the road.
In addition to raising awareness, people should be vigilant if they suspect that someone around them is driving drunk. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offer online tips on what you should do if you see a drunk driver. MADD encourages drivers to keep as big of a distance as they can from drivers that they suspect may be drunk and also to stay behind the vehicle. People should, if possible, get a good look at the car operated by the assumed drunk driver without endangering themselves. When you get the opportunity, call 911 and alert them of the location and descriptors of the assumed drunk driver, allowing them to take over. The site notes that Illinois is ranked 14th nationally in having the most DUI related death percentage and in the last year, the amount of DUI related fatalities in Illinois has increased, so anything you can do to take a drunk driver off the road will help reduce these numbers.
Our Illinois car accident lawyers hope that our readers will take this information seriously, and realize that the only way to prevent driving under the influence is to not partake in it. This especially rings true as we approach the holiday season. The choice to not drink and drive is simple, and can prevent car accidents that could result in serious injury or even death.