For many people, the holidays are an opportunity to visit with friends, family, and loved ones. Ranging from dinner parties to work gatherings, the number of celebrations seem to be endless around this time of year. Depending on the occasion, alcoholic beverages may be served. For anyone who plans to drink, it is imperative to think ahead for a safe ride home. Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Illinois, and it can lead to devastating consequences, including life-threatening injuries and wrongful death. If you have been the victim of a car accident involving an intoxicated motorist, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics
For a time of year that is supposed to bring joy and happiness, tragedy can often occur. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over the past five years, an average of 300 people have lost their lives due to drunk driving car accidents between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Even more shocking, 781 individuals died in December of 2016 because of an intoxicated motorist. Due to the prevalence of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) this time of year, many police departments are likely to increase the number of officers and checkpoints on Illinois roadways.
Tips for Staying Safe
Unfortunately, the increased likelihood of a drunk driving accident can make the holiday season difficult to celebrate. Choosing to stay at home instead of going out has become a common trend for many individuals and families. Although you cannot control the actions of other people, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, it is important to take the following actions when hitting the road:
Choose a smart time and day to travel: Certain days throughout the holiday season are known for the increased consumption of alcohol. For example, “Blackout Wednesday” (the day before Thanksgiving) and New Year’s Eve are two of the biggest drinking days of the year. Although police officers do everything in their power to keep citizens safe, there is still a higher chance of encountering an intoxicated motorist on these days, especially at night.
Take extra precautions: Even if you follow the rules of the road, you cannot control the actions of other drivers. A negligent motorist may choose to drive recklessly. Before changing lanes or proceeding through an intersection, it is important to double-check your surroundings and drive defensively.
See something, say something: If you notice a driver acting recklessly, it is important to share that information with the police. It is better to be safe than sorry in these types of situations. A police officer can determine whether or not a person is impaired while driving, which could save lives.
Contact a Lake County Car Accident Attorney
Although the holiday season is supposed to provide friends and family members a chance to rejoice and reconnect, recent trends have derailed many celebrations. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a car crash due to the negligence of an intoxicated driver, it is important to consult a legal professional. At Barrington Injury Attorneys, our team of dedicated Cook County personal injury lawyers can work with you to seek the compensation you deserve for your damages. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-381-8700.