Are There More Car Accidents Over Thanksgiving Weekend in Illinois?

Illinios accident lawyer,  Illnois personal injury attorney, Illinois wrongful death lawyerThe holiday season is here, which also signals the end of a year that has been trying for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an economic and health crisis throughout the world. Although many states, Illinois included, have closed non-essential businesses, some restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open but with reduced capacity, outdoor dining, or for takeout orders only. This Thanksgiving may look a little different, as many extended families are choosing not to get together and instead have a small gathering with their immediate household members. However, some individuals may opt to still go out and celebrate at friends’ houses or the local pub. Even if they decide to eat and drink at home, they may want to get out of the house and go for a drive after consuming one too many alcoholic beverages. Drunk driving can lead to devastating consequences, including vehicle crashes with serious injuries.

Impaired Driving During the Holidays

The increase in traffic fatalities around the holidays is nothing new. According to National Safety Council (NSC) data, the percentage of traffic fatalities related to alcohol has been higher over the Thanksgiving holiday compared to the rest of the year for almost every year during the past few decades. Even during this unprecedented year of 2020, the NSC estimates that nearly 500 people will lose their lives between Wednesday evening and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend in the United States. In an effort to prevent vehicle collisions, the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies will be engaging in increased patrols. These heightened patrols will likely lead to a significant number of DUI arrests.

In addition, drivers can also face DUI charges when using other controlled substances besides alcohol, such as marijuana or prescription medication. The legal limit for THC is 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of other bodily fluids, such as urine or saliva. In some cases, the combination of taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs with alcohol greatly impairs a motorist’s ability to operate his or her vehicle safely.

More Vehicles on the Road, Weather, and Distractions

The airline industry has seen a steep decline in passengers since many people are scared to fly now because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the close quarters of an airplane. Therefore, more cars might be on the road this Thanksgiving, regardless of some of the restrictions put in place. Even though health officials are warning against even small gatherings, some people may drive to visit a family member who is alone. Any increase in traffic, combined with bad weather in Illinois, can spell trouble on the roads. Snow, ice, and sleet can make streets slippery and hazardous. When drivers are speeding, they may lose control of their automobile and collide with another car or even a pedestrian.

For those who have been temporarily furloughed from their jobs or if they are working from home, it is possible that they have not driven in a long time. Thus, their driving skills may be a bit rusty. In addition, they can be distracted if they are worried about a close relative who is sick with coronavirus or other ailments. Other distractions can include talking or texting on a cell phone, adjusting the radio dial, eating, putting on makeup, or navigating the GPS. All of these actions can take a driver’s attention off the road, increasing the chance of a crash.

Contact an Orland Park, IL Personal Injury Attorney

Although the holidays are typically reasons to celebrate, they might be difficult for some people this year due to the coronavirus and its impact on society as we know it. An increase in drunk or distracted driving over the long Thanksgiving weekend may still occur, despite state and local restrictions. If you or your loved one suffer injuries while traveling this holiday, a skilled Illinois car accident lawyer can help. With more than 30 years of legal experience, Attorney James A. Payonk, Jr. has a proven success in obtaining compensation for victims of vehicle collisions. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 708-966-2408.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-406

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-401

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-402

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2019-11-27/the-most-dangerous-states-for-thanksgiving-driving

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