April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and there has been plenty in the media devoted to distracted teen drivers. Good!
There should be attention, and plenty of it, placed upon teen drivers. BUT, let’s not forget drivers of all ages.
I am one of those foolish people who spend about two to three hours commuting in my car from my house in the north suburbs to downtown Chicago just about every day. Being a personal injury lawyer justifies why I drive downtown every day. At a moment’s notice, I sometimes have to jump in my car and drive to a meeting or the many Courthouses throughout Illinois. Based upon my own observations, it’s not just teens who are driving while distracted.
Having represented many people over the years that have been injured as a result of distracted drivers, I have become keenly aware of other drivers on the road. It didn’t surprise me when I learned, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, that at any given moment during daylight hours, more than 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a cell phone.
According to the National Safety Council, drivers of all ages, not just teens, are four times more likely to be in an accident when using a cell phone. This number doubles, when it comes to texting while driving. According to Human Factors and Economic Safety Research, drivers using a cell phone behind the wheel are the cause for about 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States each year. Some studies compare talking on a cell phone to driving while intoxicated. For instance, the University of Utah did a study which showed that using a cell phone while driving (whether it is hand-held or hands-free) delays a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, the legal limit in Illinois.
When using a cell phone while driving, drivers of all ages become distracted. Driving is serious business and doing so while using a cell phone only takes focus away from driving safely. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, please call Willens Law Offices at 312-957-4166 for your FREE, no-obligation consultation. We can investigate whether or not the negligent driver was distracted and seek compensation for your injuries and damages.