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Safe Driving Over the Holidays Can Save Lives

Posted By Legal Team | December 20 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

‘Tis the season to celebrate with good cheer, but motorists beware: a large study released this month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that more than half the people injured or killed in serious or fatal traffic crashes had one or more drugs, including marijuana or alcohol in their bloodstream.

The study found that nearly 20% of the drivers tested had blood-alcohol levels of 0.08% or higher. That tops the legal limit in almost every state. An equal number of drivers tested positive for two or more drugs. The data underscores the role alcohol and drug use plays in serious crashes and coincides with one of the deadliest seasons of the year for impaired driving.

Safety rules.

Let’s face it. Alcohol and drugs are indispensable for many people during the holidays. For most, it is a safe activity, but when people overdo it and get behind the wheel, they can become a time bomb on the road. To protect others and yourself, the National Safety Council offers these tips:

So rule number 1, is don’t drink and drive. If you’ve had a few, take a cab, get a friend to drive you, or use a ride-sharing app.

Rule number 2, don’t trust other drivers on the road. You can do everything right and still find yourself the victim of a drunk driver. Drive carefully and defensively. Be on the lookout for cars that are weaving, swerving, or failing to maintain a steady speed limit.

Rule number 3, make sure your car is properly equipped for the winter. Place high-quality winter tires on your car, and install new wiper blades and plenty of anti-freeze. Make sure you have an emergency kit and a charged phone (to be used only in an emergency).

What to do after an accident

The aftermath of an accident can be frightening but doesn’t have to be. Here are a few coping tips to remember.

  • Get to a safe place like the side of the road. This will prevent more damage from occurring.
  • Seek medical attention even if you think you don’t need it. Often, injuries are not immediately apparent. Get checked out at your local emergency room or a quick visit to your family doctor.
  • Call the police immediately. Illinois state law dictates that you must file a police report within 10 days after a police investigation of the accident. A Chicago personal injury lawyer can advise you based on the specifics of your accident.
  • Exchange contact information with the other party and witnesses, if any. Write down both driver’s vehicle information, time, location of the accident, and the officer’s name with a badge number. Document any details that may help when you file your claim.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene. Include photos of the damage to each car, the license plate of the other car, and even traffic signs or signals.
  • Get legal help. Most importantly, consult with an experienced car accident lawyer in Chicago.

Smith LaCien LLP offers free, no-obligation consultations to accident victims and their families. We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid anything unless we win. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at (312) 509-8900 or contact us using our online form.


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