When the sun goes down in Illinois, driving hazards increase. That’s because the lack of natural light on roadways (even those with streetlights) make it more difficult for drivers to see dangers, judge distances, and react to changing road conditions. For instance, when driving at night it takes more effort and concentration to maintain a safe following distance with vehicles in front of you – which can be made even more difficult if you are impaired.
That appeared to be precisely what happened last week in East Peoria. Around 6:45pm on Wednesday night, a 27-year old woman from Normal was driving her Jeep at a high rate of speed eastbound on Interstate 74 about a mile away from the ramp to get onto Interstate 474. Just prior to Pinecrest Drive, the Jeep slammed into the back of a sport utility vehicle being driven by a 31-year old Moline woman. Both vehicles rolled over, and both women had to be rushed to a Peoria hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police later charged the Normal woman with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, improper lane usage, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
It’s pretty clear that the 27-year old woman will be held primarily or solely responsible for the DUI auto accident and the injuries to the Moline woman. Should she choose to do so, the 31-year old woman could file a personal injury lawsuit against the Jeep driver. This suit could allow the Moline woman to collect reimbursement for her medical care expenses, including ambulance charges, hospitalization and treatment costs, medications, and physical therapy sessions. In addition, the plaintiff could also collect unearned wages for any time she may have missed at work due to the auto accident, and possibly even monetary damages for pain and suffering.