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SOURCE: Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Patrick A. Salvi of Chicago’s Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. says driving while impaired by drugs that are legal and prescribed is a growing concern in Illinois and the U.S.
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) December 08, 2012
Chicago car accident lawyer Patrick A. Salvi said today that National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in December should focus on drugged driving – particularly the dangers of driving under the influence of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
“Our country and the state of Illinois have done good work to reduce the number of drivers killed in car accidents over the last several years, but the incidence of drugged driving leading to fatalities has increased,” said Salvi, managing equity partner the Chicago personal injury law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
“Driving under the influence of drugs, whether they are illicit, prescription or over-the-counter drugs, is driving while impaired,” Salvi continued. “It is an act of recklessness.”
The White House has proclaimed December to be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month 2012.
“Alcohol and drugs present serious risks to all drivers,” the official White House proclamation says. “It is well known that drugs, including some prescription medications, can impair the skills necessary for safe and responsible driving.”
The proclamation urges all Americans “to make responsible decisions and take appropriate measures to prevent impaired driving.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that 1 in 3 drivers who were killed in a motor vehicle crash in 2010 with known test results tested positive for drugs, including illicit substances as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications.
The NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data also showed that while the overall number of drivers killed in car accidents in the U.S. has declined, involvement of drugs in fatal crashes has increased by 6 percentage points over the past six years.
The Illinois State Police say that hundreds of people die needlessly as the result of drinking or drugged driving each year in Illinois. Hundreds more are seriously injured or permanently disabled.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) says 918 people died in 835 car crashes in Illinois during 2011. There were 927 car crash fatalities in 2010, 911 in 2009, 1,043 in 2008 and more than 1,200 in every previous year to 1925.
In 2011, 38.1 percent of all fatally injured drivers in Illinois who were tested had a positive blood-alcohol concentration (BAC), according to IDOT. In 2010 and 2009, 41.2 percent of all fatally injured drivers who were tested had a positive BAC.
Illinois is one of 17 states that have strict per se laws that forbid any presence of a prohibited substance or drug in the driver's body while in control of the vehicle.
IDOT’s annual Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics does not report drugged driving numbers.
Salvi, whose firm pursues personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of car accident victims in Chicago and throughout Illinois, said when people drive under the influence of drugs and harm others, they need to be held accountable.
“Anyone seriously injured in a car accident that was not their fault has rights pertaining to their financial losses and pain and suffering,” Salvi said.
“If the person who caused the car wreck was under the influence of drugs, then the victim should discuss their case with a car accident attorney experienced with drugged driving cases in Illinois.”
About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Chicago personal injury firm with offices in Chicago (22 West Washington Street, Suite 1600, Chicago IL 60602) and Waukegan (218 North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Waukegan, IL 60085). In addition to representing clients in catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, aviation and product liability cases, the firm focuses on car and truck accidents, airplane and train accidents, construction injuries, birth injuries, brain injuries, unsafe properties and animal attacks. The firm has obtained more than $630 million on behalf of its clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including 180 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements. For more information, call (312) 372-1227 or use the firm’s online contact form.
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