A tragic drunk driving accident allegedly took the life of a Kansas police officer recently, according to the Wichita Eagle. The officer had been on the job for close to 21 years when the tragic accident happened, and he had just celebrated the birthday of his four year old daughter. The officer was conducting a traffic stop at approximately 1:30 AM and within minutes of the stop, a pickup truck slammed into the back of the officer's patrol car. The patrol car was engulfed in flames, and the impact of the collision was so great nearby residents indicated they were awoken by a sound which was as loud as thunder.
The pickup truck driver fled the scene of the collision, but was captured a short time later by police dogs and was taken to the hospital for the treatment of his injuries. The driver of the pickup is suspected of being intoxicated at the time of the incident. Unfortunately, drunk driving car accidents can happen at any time, but are especially common during the fall season. Drivers need to be aware of the added risks of intoxicated driving collisions during fall and make sure they do their part to avoid contributing to the problem of impaired driving.
Why Fall is a Dangerous Time for Drunk Driving Accidents
There are many reasons why fall is a high-risk time for impaired driving collisions. Some of the issues include:
- College students returning to school. Wichita State University, Wichita Area Technical College, and Newman University are among the colleges in Wichita. When college students return to class to start a new semester, they often celebrate by drinking with friends. This can result in intoxicated young people on the roads.
- Football season. According to Bloomberg, one in 10 football fans is legally drunk by the end of each football game. Further, among people who attend tailgate parties, there is a 14 times greater risk of intoxication compared with people who don't go to parties. Around one in four tailgaters consume five or more drinks while tailgating. With people leaving games intoxicated, or leaving football parties intoxicated, there is a substantial risk of drunk driving accidents.
- Fall holidays. Halloween and Thanksgiving are both big drinking days, and the risk of intoxicated drivers on Halloween is compounded by the fact there are also lots of pedestrians on the roads in many locations.
Drivers need to make sure they do not drink and drive, whether they are celebrating a return to college, enjoying a football game, celebrating a holiday, or simply enjoying fall. Other motorists also should be watchful for drunk drivers and should report suspicious vehicles to police if they see signs of weaving or other evidence of intoxication in their fellow motorists. If drivers do become intoxicated and cause collisions to occur, victims have the right to pursue a claim for compensation from the drunk driver who hurt them or who caused the death of a family member.