Distracted driving is becoming an all too common phrase these days. People frequently drive while texting and talking on a cell phone — often without a concern for their own safety or for others. According to the Illinois Tollway, these cell phone distractions were found to be the primary or secondary cause of more than 1,100 crashes in 2011. Distracted driving accidents can cause innocent people to suffer mild to severe injuries, and in some cases death. If you or someone you know has been injured in a distracted driving accident, it is important to contact a dedicated Chicago personal injury attorney to help you sort through your rights.
In an attempt to reduce the number of such accidents, on January 1, 2010, the state enacted a law banning texting while driving. Many Illinois residents did not know that the state had such a law. In fact, the State Tollway conducted an online survey revealing that 40 percent of Tollway drivers were unaware that it is illegal to text and drive in Illinois. In an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of driving and texting and to reduce the number of cell-phone related accidents, state agencies have partnered together to remind motorists to “Drive Now. Text Later.”
The catchy slogan can be found throughout the state. “Drive Now. Text Later.” has been placed on posters at tollbooths, rest stops, and retail malls. It is also advertised on television and radio announcements and on roadway message boards.
According to a fact sheet issued by the Illinois Tollway, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that texting while driving increases the likelihood of a crash by 22 times during the few moments when a driver is sending a text, translating to a 2,200 percent increase. In the United States, between 4,000 and 8,000 distracted-driving-related crashes occur on a daily basis. These are alarming statistics that must be taken seriously.
At least one driver in Alabama is blatantly not paying attention to the potential dangers of distracted driving. According to the an article in the American Bar Association Journal, the 19 year-old driver was recently pulled over for “double texting.” This means that he was driving the car with his knees, while texting with a phone in each hand. He told the sheriff’s officers that he has been driving this way since he was 15.
The Illinois Tollway provides a list of suggested precautions that drivers can follow to minimize the temptation of distracted driving. A helpful tip is to put your cell phone out of reach and out of sight upon getting into the car. Drivers are also encouraged to put up a “Drive Now. Text Later.” decal in their cars as a reminder to avoid driving and texting. Of course, if one needs to make a call or send a text, motorists should pull the car over to a safe place to use a cell phone. Although these helpful reminders are useful, many drivers will not heed the rules and will continue to drive with too many distractions, putting the rest of the motorists in danger.
David K. Kremin & Associates, P.C. have been helping citizens in Chicago and throughout the state recover damages for their severe injuries and the wrongful deaths of loved ones as a result of distracted driving car accidents. We can help you to maximize your recovery.