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Distracted Driving in Illinois

As technology has become a larger and larger part of our everyday lives, it has led to a serious issue: distracted driving. One of the most common forms of distracted driving results from using electronic cell phones behind the wheel. However, distracted driving can also include messing around with the radio, eating or drinking, or paying more attention to the passengers in your vehicle than on the road.

distracted driving IMAGEAccording to Illinois State Police, distracted driving is a relevant factor in over 1 million auto accidents in North America annually resulting in serious injuries and deaths. Here in Illinois, there are a few different restrictions regarding distracted driving:

  • Ban on all cell phone use for bus drivers;
  • Ban on all cell phone use for beginning drivers;
  • Ban on texting for all drivers;
  • Ban on use of cell phones in school zones/highway construction zones;
  • Handheld ban for all drivers (effective 1/1/14).

Now, some people believe that using hands-free devices, rather than texting or talking on the phone, are the safest option possible, but that is not always the case. Some research has indicated that even having hands-free conversations causes drivers to be cognitively distracted and miss important visual and audio cues on the road that help to avoid crashes. Essentially, it’s best to save your conversation for after your trip.

There are some easy ways to avoid distracted driving, some of which include simply pulling over to a safe place to talk on the phone or send a text message. If your phone is a serious issue, it may not be a bad idea to take to turning it off before driving. Adjust all of your seat positions, climate controls, and radio stations before you start driving (or when you’re stopped). Even just a quick glance at your radio dial could cause a life-changing accident.

Distracted driving may not seem like a big deal, but it is responsible for causing many auto accidents, injuries, and deaths each year. If you or somebody you know has been the victim of an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, be sure to contact a dedicated Illinois criminal attorney to fight for your rights and potential compensation.

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