If you read our blogs you know that our attorneys are always encouraging readers to always use safe driving practices to keep passengers and others on the roads safe and free from harm. To do so, a driver should avoid driving recklessly or while distracted or sleep-deprived to lessen their chances of being involved in a serious car accident.
People generally know that they should not be texting and driving, but many don’t realize how your emotional state may play a role in your ability to drive safely. For instance, if you are under distress and feeling extreme anger or sadness, it is never wise to get behind the wheel of a care because you cannot have a calm and clear mind. Agitated, anxious or emotionally distressed drivers cannot fully concentrate on the roads and therefore will not operate a vehicle to the best of their abilities and therefore breach their legal duty to not create dangers on the roads and make others susceptible to personal injuries or fatalities.
Oftentimes, emotionally distressed individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope and this creates an even more dangerous scenario when people get behind the wheel. Drivers’ brains must process many things at once, such as speed, other vehicles, stoplights, pedestrians, etc. When a driver drinks and drives, they cannot wholly focus on their environment or react quickly to situations on the road. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., an estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve intoxication. Nearly 13,000 people are killed each year in car accidents due to alcohol. Furthermore, it is the law in all states that one cannot legally drive with a blood alcohol concentration over .08. Anyone under the age of 21 cannot operate a car with any alcohol in their system as the legal drinking age in the United States is 21. Even at .08, a driver’s muscle coordination is poor, and it is difficult to quickly react and detect dangers on the road.
In the Chicago Southside neighborhood of Englewood, a recent alcohol-related motor vehicle accident resulted in the hospitalization of four people, according to an article by CBS. Afterward, a woman was charged with a DUI in connection with this crash and received one felony count of aggravated DUI with no valid driver’s license and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, criminal damages to property, and driving on a suspended license.
According to reports, the crash occurred following a fight with the woman’s boyfriend. Amidst the argument, she and two others left in a van, followed by the boyfriend. She drove through a red light at West 69th and South Halsted, and collided with another vehicle, injuring the driver. Then, she drove into two parked cars, ejecting d herself and her two passengers from the van. In this particular incident, the woman was not only unfit to drive as a result of alcohol impairment, but she was also likely distracted as a result of the emotional distress caused by her domestic disagreement.
If you or a family member has been injured due to another driver’s recklessness on the roads, you may be able to hold that person accountable for their wrongdoing and obtain compensation for your injuries and financial hardship through a personal injury lawsuit. It is never okay to drink and get behind the wheel of a vehicle, and where someone puts recklessly puts others’ lives in dangers, they should be held liable for the harms they have caused. We are passionate about defending the rights of innocent victims of alcohol-related crashes, and would be happy to discuss your case with you in a free consultation.