An estimated 30 people are killed in DUI accidents each day in the United States. In 2018, 10,511 people died in drunk driving crashes. During 2017, 998 fatal crashes occurred in Illinois. Thirty-two percent of those crashes involved alcohol. Even though DUI accidents occur throughout the year, the holidays can be a particularly dangerous time on the roads because of drunk driving.
Blackout Wednesday Kicks Off the Holiday DUI Season
Blackout Wednesday is the nickname forthe day before Thanksgiving. It is believed to have started with college students who began the holiday season early by drinking heavily on Wednesday because they did not need to get up the next morning for class. The tradition gained popularity with adults who also had the following day off from work.Blackout Wednesday has now become the unofficial beginning of the Holiday drunk driving season.
You are more likely to be involved in a DUI accident from Blackout Wednesday through New Year’s Day. December DUI crashes increased from 781 in 2016 to 885 in 2017. Roughly 25,000 people are injured in alcohol-related crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Ninety-six percent of adults admitted going to work hungover from a party or knew someone who did. Fifty percent of people responding to a survey said that alcohol plays a role in their family holiday gatherings, and 16% of adults said they drink more than usual during the holidays.
Tips for Avoiding DUI Accidents During the Holidays
If you can stay off the roads in the evenings, especially on weekends during the holidays, you can reduce your risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident. However, if you can’t avoid driving in the evenings, it is important to know the signs of a drunk driver.
Signs that a driver may have had too much to drink include:
- Problems staying in their lane
- Inconsistencies with breaking and speeding
- Ignoring traffic signals or stopping for green lights
- Driving too slowly or too fast for conditions
- Running over the curb or going the wrong way
- Failing to use turn signals or signaling improperly
- Failing to turn the lights on at night or to dim bright lights for oncoming traffic
- Making erratic changes in direction or speed
- Stopping too far back from a stop sign or a red light or stopping after entering the intersection
- Randomly decelerating or accelerating
If you see a driver exhibiting any of the signs of intoxicated driving, do not attempt to take action on your own. It is safer to place as much distance between you and the other vehicle as possible and contact law enforcement immediately to report the suspected drunk driver.
When you enjoy alcohol during the holidays, plan to have an alternate way home, so that you don’t have to drive. Drunk driving is preventable. If you are hosting a party during the holidays, make sure that your guests have plenty of non-alcoholic options for drinks, and that you serve food throughout the event. When a guest has had too much to drink, arrange for a safe ride home.
What Should You Do After A DUI Accident In Chicago?
Call 911 immediately to report the DUI accident. Let the emergency operator know that you believe the other driver may be intoxicated. Do not confront the other driver with your suspicions. An intoxicated person can be very unpredictable. When a police officer arrives, let him or her know your suspicions so that the officer can investigate the matter further.
If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages. It is important for you to document your injuries and your losses carefully to increase your chance of receiving full compensation for all damages.
You may also want to seek legal advice from an experienced Chicago DUI accident attorney. Even though the other driver may have been intoxicated at the time of the collision, you must still prove that the driver was at fault for the car crash before you can receive compensation for your injuries. An experienced DUI accident attorney in Chicago can investigate the crash to determine the cause of the accident and gather evidence to prove fault and liability.
Contact a DUI Accident Lawyer for More Information
Our lawyers answer your questions about filing a personal injury claim for a DUI accident and help you explore all legal options for holding a drunk driver responsible for the damages caused by his or her negligence and wrongdoing. Our legal team aggressively pursues injury claims against drunk drivers. Our goal is to help you in your family receive the compensation you deserve when an intoxicated driver causes injuries and losses.