The success of the Fast and Furious movie franchise and drag racing themed video games has given rise to the growing popularity of the dangerous sport. Driving a car on a public road has inherent dangers even when someone is following every traffic law and safety precaution. Unforeseen circumstances and fluctuating road, traffic, and weather conditions have the potential to turn any vehicle into an out of control, two ton projectile. Drag racing adds infinitely to the dangerous propensity of driving a car, and two Chicago families are now suffering through immense tragedy because of it.
Young car enthusiasts congregate weekly on Lower Wacker Drive. There, they show off their rides, do car stunts, and occasionally race. Their chosen pastime isn’t legal, and Chicago law enforcement has worked to patrol the area and keep the streets safe. Unfortunately, these efforts weren’t successful last Friday when tragedy struck. Two car enthusiast best friends began racing down a stretch of Lower Wacker Drive.
The two young men were traveling at over 50 miles per hour and weaving in and out of lanes when they both lost control of their vehicles. Eighteen-year-old Ivan Sanchez only suffered minor injuries, but his best friend, 20-year-old Jose Luvianos Jr., was not so lucky. Luvianos died from his injuries, and Sanchez has been charged with aggravated DUI and reckless homicide for his role in the crash. The 18-year-old faces up to 14 years in prison and a lifetime of guilt and regret. His attorney stated “it’s tragic for two individuals and two families.”
Drag racing fatalities are completely avoidable tragedies. Speed limits and traffic laws exist for a reason: to regulate traffic and keep the roads as safe as possible. Racing on a public street is incredibly dangerous for participants and other motorists. Racers travel at high speeds, weave in and out of lanes, and even drive into oncoming traffic. These careless behaviors all increase risk of injury and death. Speed is often related to the seriousness of accidents and traffic fatalities. Traveling at high rates of speed not only increases your odds of losing control, but also adds significantly to the force of any impact.
Respect the lives and safety of yourself and the people you share the road with. Never race on a public road and always do your best to make careful and lawful decisions when operating a vehicle. If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer at (312) 236-2900 to help you seek the compensation you deserve.