Two different drivers were charged in two different accidents taking place in the same part of the Edens Expressway early on Thanksgiving. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, an Evanston man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he swerved into oncoming traffic at around 3:30 a.m., forcing another driver to swerve into a ditch. Both were hospitalized and not believed to be seriously injured.
Just an hour and a half later, a Chicago man fell asleep at the wheel and hit a parked vehicle belonging to an Illinois State Police trooper. Fortunately, nobody was killed, but the driver was cited for failure to yield and improper lane usage, as well as failure to drive cautiously around an emergency vehicle. The last citation stems from Scott’s Law, also known as the “move over law,” which requires drivers to slow down, change lanes if possible and drive with caution when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights on. The maximum penalty for breaking this law is a $10,000 fine and loss of a driver’s license for up to two years.
These drivers may not feel lucky, but considering what could have happened in both cases, I think they’re lucky. A DUI constitutes major legal trouble, but if this driver had killed someone, he would have had to live the rest of his life with that fact. And even if authorities chose not to charge him with vehicular homicide, the driver would still be liable in an Illinois drunk driving lawsuit brought by the victim’s family.
The man who fell asleep at the wheel may not have been legally impaired, but unfortunately, the results of driving while sleepy can be just as tragic as the results of impaired driving. In fact, a 2006 study showed that sleepy driving quadruples a driver’s chances of being in an accident. Even if this man was just coming home from work, or at the end of a long road trip to see family on Thanksgiving, a crash could have been just as deadly and left him just as vulnerable to a vehicular homicide charge or a Chicago car accident lawsuit.
If you’ve been seriously injured and believe your insurance company is treating you unfairly after a serious car accident, the Illinois auto accident lawyers at Abels & Annes can help. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and your legal options.