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Distracted Driving Laws in Chicago

In 2013, distracted driving accidents caused a total of 3,154 deaths.


The number of injuries caused by distracted driving increased to around 424,000 in 2013. Of the drivers ages 20 or younger who were involved in serious road accidents, around 10 percent were distracted at the time of the accident. Approximately 660,000 drivers use some kind of electronic device at any given time while driving. When drivers use a device for activities that require manual and/or visual involvement, they are exposed to three times higher risk of getting involved in a car accident. Texting or sending a message from a mobile phone distracts a driver for around five seconds. This is sufficient time for a vehicle, moving at 55 mph, to cross a football field.

Distracted driving is taken seriously by Illinois laws. If a driver’s inattention causes an accident, the driver may be fined, penalized, and even sentenced to jail. Strict laws have reduced the number of accidents caused by distracted driving.

Illinois Laws and Distracted Driving

In Illinois, there are strict laws related to distracted driving. For example, it is unlawful for:

  • A driver to send, type, or read mobile phone messages when driving.
  • A driver younger than 19 years to use any type of mobile phone.
  • A bus driver to use any type of mobile phone.
  • A driver to use a mobile phone when driving through accident prone zones.

Other Distractions While Driving

In addition to cell phone use, there are other distractions to avoid while driving:

  • making adjustments to the radio, air conditioner, or seat
  • applying cosmetics while driving
  • emailing while driving
  • reading, writing, eating, or drinking while driving

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