Beware: alcohol plays a deadly role on Illinois roads this weekend. Each year the State of Illinois publishes Illinois Crash Facts & Statistics. The most recent publication, from 2009, offers insights into car collisions involving fatalities, involving alcohol over Holiday Weekends, including Memorial Day Weekend. The statistics speak loudly as to the effect of alcohol on our roadways.
Memorial Day Weekend offers many opportunities: a springboard into summer, a long weekend away, and the near promise of warm summer days ahead. The traffic crash statistics paint a dark side to this fun weekend. Memorial Day weekend is the most deadly Holiday weekend of the year on our roads. In 2009, page 37 of the report lists 17 automobile collisions over Memorial Day Weekend caused fatalities. 9 of the 17, or 52.9% of these collisions involved alcohol. We represent individuals injured in automobile collisions with serious injuries where insurance coverage exists, the negligent driver is uninsured and where the negligent driver is underinsured.
In short, a dark side to Holiday weekends exists, where everyone involved loses. The fun and promise of the weekend turn to horror and grief, while the reoccuring annual holiday reminds families and loved ones every year of loss. As the injured and their families begin recovery, insurance companies present new obstacles. Insurance policies do not cover criminal acts and actively employ lawyers to find an escape from covering an insured who drove while intoxicated.
This Memorial day, please drive safely. If you plan to drink, designate a driver. If you plan to drive, give the road your undivided attention: make phone calls or text messages either before or after you drive. Finally, if you have an hour, review your automobile insurance policy for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages apply where a negligent driver either does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance or where the negligent drivers insurance company refuses to cover the loss. Often, insurance companies fail to describe the inexpensive difference between a higher limit on uninsured and underinsured portions of your policy.