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DuPage County Personal Injury Law Blog

Drunk drivers can't help but cause accidents

How many times have you seen someone leave the bar or a party, insisting that they'll drive safely even when friends are worried that they're too intoxicated to get behind the wheel? It happens. Drunk people often claim that they're fine and that they can drive without injuring anyone.

And they really do intend to try. The problem is just that they can't do it because of the way that the alcohol impacts them. For instance:

  • Alcohol leads to poor judgment. That's shown by the fact that they're going to drive at all, but it also leads to all sorts of avoidable mistakes on the road.
  • Alcohol causes slow reaction times. Many drunk drivers get in accidents when they see hazards in their way -- stopped traffic, for instance -- but do not react fast enough to avoid a crash.
  • Alcohol hinders your coordination. Driving a car may feel like second nature, but it's actually a very complex process that a drunk person may not be able to handle.
  • Alcohol can cause vision problems. This is why drunk drivers often do not see stop signs, pedestrians in the crosswalk and other things of this nature.
  • Alcohol can make you drowsy. A driver who is both intoxicated and about to nod off behind the wheel is very dangerous. A driver who has consumed far too many drinks could even black out while driving.

6-car crash with semi leaves one dead

A six-car crash happened in Illinois on Sunday, June 9. It involved, among other vehicles, a semi and a black Subaru. One woman, who was a passenger in the Subaru, died in the wreck.

Per the Illinois State Police, the wreck happened just after midnight on the I-90 expressway. It was in the southbound lanes. The exact cause of the accident is not yet clear, as police are carrying out their investigation. However, they do not think that the drivers were impaired by alcohol or drugs, something that is common in late-night accidents.

The only driver you control is you

There is an important mantra to keep in mind when you go out on the road: The only driver you control is you. You can't control what anyone else does, and that puts you at risk. You can't avoid that risk. But you can control what you do to reduce it.

For instance, other drivers may get distracted by:

  • Talking to their passengers
  • Disciplining their kids
  • Reading a map
  • Doing personal grooming, like applying makeup and shaving
  • Reading a book
  • Changing the radio station
  • Streaming a new playlist
  • Sending a text message
  • Reading a text message
  • Making a phone call
  • Eating while driving
  • Smoking in the car
  • Drinking alcohol, coffee, or anything else
  • Getting into an argument
  • Gawking at things outside of the car

Motorcyclist dies when semi turns left

For motorcyclists, the left-turn accident is fairly infamous. It's perhaps the most dangerous situation a rider can face on the road.

It generally happens when a vehicle makes a left-hand turn across the oncoming traffic lanes, after waiting in the proper lane for the oncoming traffic to clear. The driver may not see the motorcycle at all. When they turn left, they cut it off, and the rider can't avoid an accident.

Illinois debates getting tougher on drivers passing school buses

If you’re a parent, you might have nasty visions some mornings as your child climbs the stairs to board a school bus. The evening news the previous night can be awfully vivid about bus crashes and accidents at bus stops.

As a result, you might be surprised to know that a bill working its way through Illinois’ legislature is proving to be controversial.

Is it common to forget a car accident?

You don't remember your car accident. The police officers tell you what they think happened, and your dash cam even shows the moment of impact. It's all strange to you, as if you're seeing it for the first time. You remember getting in your car and starting the engine, but that's it.

Is this normal? What happened to make you forget such an important event?

Human errors and common driving mistakes

Have you ever heard someone say that most car accidents happen because of human error? It's true, and that's why accidents keep happening at such an incredible rate. Manufacturers can make cars themselves safer and lawmakers can pass new regulations, but people are still going to make mistakes and cause crashes. You can't stop that.

There is nearly an infinite amount of potential mistakes that people can make, depending on the situation, but here are a few common examples:

  • Pulling onto the road without enough space and cutting off another car
  • Running a red light or a stop sign, perhaps on purpose or because they didn't see it
  • Not driving at a green light; this often happens because of cellphone distraction
  • Cutting off cars when merging due to neglecting to check a blind spot
  • Driving at the same speed in any conditions, even when things like rain, snow or fog make it too dangerous to drive that fast
  • Drifting over the center line and into oncoming traffic
  • Braking too hard and speeding up too quickly
  • Only signaling to make a turn at the very last second
  • Not signaling at all before turning or merging
  • Not doing proper maintenance, which can lead to an unexpected breakdown
  • Rushing and breaking the speed limit
  • Texting and driving -- or doing anything else that means they spend more time looking at the phone than looking at the road

What are the dangers of drunk walking?

Many young adults know about the perils of driving while intoxicated, which may be the reason so many choose to walk home instead of getting behind the wheel. Are there hazards that pedestrians face when they choose to walk home while intoxicated past the legal limit?

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s pedestrian fatality statistics, 32% of pedestrians were intoxicated at the time of their death. Why is walking while intoxicated dangerous?

Why does alcohol lead to questionable decisions?

You know that drinking and driving is not a wise decision. You know it's dangerous and illegal. If someone asked you during a standard workday, while you were sober, if it was smart to drive drunk, you'd tell them it wasn't.

All the same, after having too many drinks at the bar with friends, you find yourself behind the wheel. In the moment, it seems like a good idea. Why does alcohol cause you to make these questionable decisions that, if you get arrested, you're going to regret later?

Pedestrians, here are 7 key safety tips

A car accident involving a pedestrian is one of the most serious and dangerous that can occur. Even low speeds are dangerous. When two cars collide at 10 miles per hour, odds are it's little more than a fender-bender. When a car hits a person at 10 miles per hour, they could suffer serious, life-altering injuries.

So, how can pedestrians stay safe? While it is up to drivers to be vigilant about safe driving around them, here are a few tips for pedestrians that may help:

  1. Always face the oncoming traffic if there is no sidewalk and you have to walk on the shoulder.
  2. Wear bright colors so that drivers can see you, especially at night, and consider wearing reflective clothes if possible.
  3. Don't get distracted by your phone, your music, a conversation with a friend, or anything else. Remember the danger and stay alert.
  4. Don't cross where there is no crosswalk. In rare situations where you have to, yield to any cars in the street before crossing.
  5. Use the sidewalks when you can. You may just be a few feet from the road, but you're far safer.
  6. Even on sidewalks, remember that drivers may cross them when entering driveways and parking lots.
  7. Avoid any assumptions when it comes to visibility. If you're not 100 percent sure that a driver spotted you, don't go in front of the car, even if you have the right of way. It's a good practice to attempt to make eye contact with the driver so that you're on the same page.
Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.

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Marquardt & Belmonte, P.C.
311 S. County Farm Rd
Wheaton, IL 60187

Phone: 630-517-3279
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