Avoid Drunk-Driving Collisions in Chicago

August 30, 2018

A recent article published by Driving Tests advises motorists on how they can defend themselves from the dangers posed by drunk drivers.

The article offers an interesting take on the issue. While most articles focus on getting drivers to commit to not driving while intoxicated, Driving Tests outlines a defensive driving strategy for other drivers.

Every 48 minutes, someone dies in a drunk-driving accident in the United States. That figure represents about one-third of all traffic deaths each year. Specifically, drunk drivers kill more than 10,000 people each year.

As Chicago car accident attorneys, we often see the consequences of drunk-driving collisions. That’s why we want to help you stay safe.

Defensive Driving Strategies to Avoid Drunk-Driving Collisions

None of us would have to worry about drunk-driving accidents if all drivers stayed sober. Unfortunately, some people drive drunk and put everyone at risk. So what can you do to safe stay on the road? Suggested strategies include:

  • Wear your seat belt: This is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of serious or fatal injury in the event of a traffic collision.
  • Don’t follow too closely: Give yourself more reaction time around other cars. In particular, leave extra space between you and another driver if you suspect they’re under the influence.
  • Use extra caution at intersections: Car accidents regularly occur at intersections. As a result, pay extra attention to other drivers at intersections who might be drunk.
  • Avoid late night driving: Perhaps your mom once told you nothing good happens after midnight. She’s right, particularly when it comes to accidents involving drunk drivers.
  • Beware holidays: All holidays increase the risk of drunk drivers. Most people focus on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But the three summer holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day) often rank near the top of the deadliest driving days of the year.

Injury Claims after Chicago Drunk-driving Accidents

Civil claims involving drunk-driving accidents can be very complicated. First, you will need to identify what type of insurance covers your crash. Illinois auto insurance law requires drivers carry minimum insurance coverage of just $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Timing also matters when it comes to filing a claim. Often, you need to act fast and submit a claim as soon as possible. At-fault driver’s insurance covers many accidents. In addition, your accident may be covered by insurance available to other drivers or passengers involved in the collision, including underinsured/uninsured (UIM/UM) motorist coverage.

Some collisions involve multiple victims with very serious or fatal injuries. In these cases, injury victims or surviving family members may be covered by different types of insurance.

Identifying third parties who share liability can be a critical step as well. Dram shop liability may be another source of recovery. Illinois’s dram shop law is found in the Liquor Control Act of 1934 (235 ILCS 5/6-21 (2000)). The law states that vendors, such as bars and restaurants, can be held accountable for serving alcohol to someone who later causes a motor-vehicle collision.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact Coplan + Crane to discuss your options.