While safety should be at the forefront of our minds when we get behind a wheel, sometimes we don’t realize we’re jeopardizing what matters most. In order to combat our hectic schedules, it can seem like there’s only time to eat lunch or schedule doctor’s appointments when we’re driving from one place to the next. Completing those simple tasks while driving makes the complex task of driving even harder and can have deadly consequences.
The Illinois State Police report that driver inattention results in more than 1 million crashes in North American each year. Along with the $40 billion economic impact, lives are changed forever because of serious injuries and other lives are lost. Our Southern Illinois distracted driving lawyers are dedicated to bringing inattentive drivers to justice when they harm innocent victims.
Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics
To understand the devastating impact of distracted driving, let’s take a look at the numbers. These statistics have been compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Every day, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in distracted driving crashes.
- In 2015, 3477 people were killed in distracted driving accidents.
- In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving collisions.
- The three main types of distraction are visual, manual, and cognitive.
- During the daytime, more than 480,000 people use their cellphones while driving.
- Women are more likely to use their phones while driving than men.
- Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest rate of distraction-related accidents.
- In 2015, 42 percent of high school students reported using their phone while driving.
- High school students who use their phones while driving are less like to wear a seatbelt and more likely to drink and drive.
- Sending one text messages takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55mph, that enough to cover the distance of a football field.
Distracted Driving Laws in Illinois
In 2013, Illinois revamped their driving laws to aid in the prevention of deadly distracted driving wrecks. The majority of these laws focus on the use of electronic devices because cell phones are one of the leading causes of distracted driving.
As outlined in Statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, the following actions are against the law:
- Texting and driving
- Using a handheld cellphone
- Using a cellphone in a highway construction zone or school zone
- A novice driver (under 19) using a cellphone (handheld or hands-free)
- A bus driver using a cellphone (handheld or hands-free)
There are three instances when a driver is allowed to use a handheld cellphone in Illinois: 1) To report an emergency; 2) While parked on the shoulder of a road; 3) While the vehicle is stopped and in park due to a normal traffic obstruction.
While the following actions are not illegal the Illinois State Police deem the following actions as distractions while driving:
- Eating or drinking
- Reading or writing
- Putting on makeup
- Brushing hair
- Filing or clipping nails
- Reaching for objects in the glove compartment
- Breaking up fights between kids
- Pick objects up from the floor
- Arguing with a passenger
- Tuning the radio
- Putting contacts in or using eye drops
In order to remain in accordance with the law, the Illinois State Police recommend the following:
- Avoid talking while driving
- Keep both hands on the wheel
- Avoid taking your eyes off the road
- Limit your interaction with passengers
- Stop to eat or drink
- Avoid adjusting the car’s internal controls while driving
- Pull over to care for infants and children
Preventing Distracted Driving in Illinois
At the state level, Illinois is taking a stand to stop distracted driving with their Drive Now. Text Later. campaign. In April, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police promote Distracted Driving Awareness Week. Drivers are likely to see additional police officers on the road during this time. In April 2018, The Illinois Department of Transportation spent $500,000 to help local police departments all over Illinois enforce distracted driving laws.
Also at the state level, Illinois has partnered with AT&T to promote It Can Wait, a campaign to promote the idea that distracted driving is never okay. Through social media and other outlets, they provide information on the dangers of distracted driving.
The national campaign, U Drive. U Text. U Pay. is centered around assisting law enforcement with their efforts to reduce distracted driving incidents. The campaign is targeted towards individuals 18 to 34, with a focus on women. This campaign happens in conjunction with National Distracted Driving Awareness month in April.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable with Our Southern Illinois Distracted Driving Lawyers
While measures are being taken at the state and federal levels to reduce distracted driving accidents and improve roadway safety, there will still be individuals who choose to multitask behind the wheel.
If someone else’s irresponsible decision impacts your life, it’s important to remember you have the right to hold that driver accountable and seek compensation to ease your financial burdens and suffering. Contact our Marion, IL distracted driving attorneys today for a free consultation.