Smart phone technology has surely contributed to an increase in distracted driving and automobile accidents.
Every piece of information, from anywhere in the world, is now available at our finger tips. If you want to chat with a friend thousands of miles away you can do it in a matter of seconds. However, this increased dependence on mobile technology has its own perils. We have come to a point where we cannot spend even a few minutes without texting, checking email, answering phone calls, or simply surfing the internet. It has become the number one distraction and is a leading cause of car accidents in Chicago.
The Danger of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is responsible for over 20 percent of all car accidents. In 2013, over 3,000 people were killed on U.S. roads because of distracted driving. As more and more devices are making their way into our lives and vehicles, the epidemic of distracted driving is also growing. In spite of the strict laws in the state of Illinois against distracted driving, it still accounts for a large number of accidents that take place every year. It is important to understand the major distractions that can lead to an accident, so that you can avoid them.
Common Distractions While Driving
Driving is a task that requires your full attention. If you take your eyes off the road for even a few seconds you can end up in a horrible accident. However, over time, we may start to feel that driving is a routine task and we begin to handle other tasks simultaneously without fear of losing control. However, even the most experienced of drivers can cause a collision if they take their eyes off the road even for a few seconds. Common distractions to avoid while driving include:
- Using electronic devices such as smart phones or tablets. Texting, answering phone calls, and checking emails are tasks that take your mind off the road.
- Drinking and eating.
- Grooming or applying makeup.
- Checking and concentrating on a GPS.
- Changing music or adjusting the settings on the dashboard.
- Talking to passengers.
- Looking outside at an accident or construction site.
To combat distracted driving, Illinois is the first Midwestern state to have passed the legislation to outlaw the use of phones without a hands free device. The penalty for the first offense is $75 and for subsequent violations it is $100, $125 and $150.
Current Prohibitions in Chicago, Illinois
- Drivers are prohibited from texting and related activities such as internet use.
- Drivers are prohibited from using handheld electronic communication devices.
- Drivers are prohibited from the use of cell phones on construction and road maintenance zones and school speed zones.
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from the use of wireless phones with or without a hands free device.
- Taking photos or videos on wireless devices is prohibited within 500 feet from an emergency scene.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, speak with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer from Willens Law Offices about your case.