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Driving Under the Influence Common Cause of Rear-End Accidents

January 23, 2014

A 24-year-old Chicago driver was arrested recently after rear-ending the vehicle in front of him near the intersection of Corporate Drive and Lake Cook Road. Police questioned the motorist after the rear-end crash and determined his driver’s license was suspended and his registration was expired at the time of the collision.

According to the Deerfield Patch, Police also noted a strong odor of cannabis on the driver and then performed a search of his vehicle. The search found drug paraphernalia, and the motorist was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, for failure to reduce speed in order to avoid an accident, for possession of drug paraphernalia, for driving with a suspended license and for driving an uninsured motor vehicle. He could also face potential civil liability for the rear-end crash.

Driving Under the Influence Could Result in a Rear-End Accident

Rear end accidents are one of the most common types of collisions that occur in the United States and have many different causes. Rear-end accident lawyers in Chicago know that driving while impaired is one potential reason why rear end accidents happen.

A driver who is on drugs or who is intoxicated may not be paying careful attention to the vehicle in front of him. As a result, the impaired motorist may not know that the lead car has stopped and thus may strike the back of the vehicle. Motorists who are drunk or high on drugs also have delayed reaction time and reduced cognitive functionality. As a result, drivers may not be as observant as to what the car in front of them is doing and may not be able to react quickly enough to stop their vehicle if the lead car stops or slows down.

Drivers who wish to avoid the danger of a rear-end crash as well as to minimize other car accident risks need to make the smart choice to stay sober. Unfortunately, trends indicate that while drunk driving accidents and deaths have largely been on the decline, there may be more people driving high in the future. This may occur as a direct result of an increased push for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

The state of Illinois has already legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal use, but recreational use may be next. Both Washington and Colorado legalized medical marijuana beginning in 2014 and Illinois may follow suit.  In fact, the Illinois Review published an ad that was put together by the Marijuana Policy Project to push legalization in the state of Illinois. Chicago representative and Democrat Lou Lang is also described by the Illinois Review as “Illinois’ cannabis hero.”

Even if Illinois does legalize marijuana, however, it will still be illegal to drive while under the influence of the drug. The recent rear end accident is a perfect illustration of why driving high is dangerous and of why safety experts should be concerned that the liberalization of marijuana policies could lead not only to more rear end crashes but also to more accidents in general. Drivers who want to partake in either the recreational or the medicinal use of marijuana may have that right, but they should exercise it reasonably and refrain from driving while impaired.

Motorists involved in a rear end crash or other collision with a driver who is high should consult an experienced attorney for help pursing compensation.

Coplan + Crane have offices in Oak Park and serve clients throughout the Chicago, IL area. Call 800-394-6002 today to schedule a free consultation.