Chicago Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyers
With access to 21st Century technology, many drivers are tempted to talk on their cell phones or text while driving. Far too many drivers succumb to the temptation, creating risks for themselves and their passengers, and to other motorists on the roadway. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving was involved in 10% of all traffic fatalities in 2014, killing 3,179 people.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is dangerous driving behavior that encompasses more than texting or talking on cell phones. Any activity that pulls the driver’s attention away from the important task of operating the 3,000 lb. moving motor vehicle is a form of distracted driving. In addition to texting and talking on cell phones, driver distraction may involve:
- Manipulating any electronic device
- Adjusting in vehicle sound systems or radio
- Using the navigation system
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with children in the vehicle
- Searching for an object in the car
- Watching a video
Text messaging is particularly alarming because it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver. The same could be said about adjusting any electronic device while operating a vehicle.
Illinois Distracted Driving Laws
Texting while driving is illegal in Illinois, along with the use of all hand-held devices. Hands-free technology (Bluetooth, headsets, speaker phones) is permitted, except while driving in school zones or construction zones, and not allowed at all for novice drivers.
State anti-texting law applies to more than just cell phones. Drivers are prohibited from using any electronic communication device to compose, read, or send messages while operating a motor vehicle on a roadway. This includes personal digital assistants (PDAs), smart phones, tablets, notebooks, and all types of electronic devices.
Distracted Driving Facts
NHTSA is engaged in a public awareness campaign to educate American people about the dangers of distracted driving. The agency provides facts and statistics about distracted driving to the general public, including:
- In a single recent year, more than 3,000 people were killed and an estimated 424,000 were injured in traffic accidents in which distracted driving was a factor.
- 27% of drivers killed in distracted driving accidents were in their twenties.
- 10% of drivers under the age of 20 killed in fatal crashes were distracted at the time the crash occurred.
- When drivers engage in manual-visual subtasks associated with operating hand-held electronic devices, they triple the risk of being involved in a traffic accident.
- 25% of teen drivers respond to one or more text messages every time they get behind the wheel.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. At Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, we have a successful track record recovering compensation for our clients who were injured through the negligence of others.