April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Thousands of people die in accidents involving distracted driving each year. Hundreds of thousands are injured.
In Illinois, it is illegal to use a handheld electronic device for any purpose while you are driving. That covers texting, talking, using an app, browsing the internet and any other activity on your phone. There are exceptions: You could use your phone if you need to call 9-1-1, or if you are parked on the shoulder or stopped in traffic with your vehicle in neutral or park.
Drivers under the age of 19 cannot use hands-free technology to operate an electronic device while driving. Even though it’s legal for drivers over the age of 19 to use hands-free electronic devices (i.e. Bluetooth to talk on your phone), research has shown that even this type of phone use is dangerously distracting. Other things that divert your attention from the road may be less obvious but dangerous nonetheless:
- Gazing out the window
- Thinking about something that happened earlier that day (i.e. a stressful event at work, a conversation, a deadline, etc.)
- Trying to juggle a sandwich or beverage between your hands while also keeping one hand on the wheel
- Looking for the song you want to hear on your device
- Trying to retrieve something your child dropped in the backseat
Any activity that takes your concentration away from the task of driving is distracting enough to cause a crash.
If you or a loved one has been in a car crash in Chicago, Oak Park, Berwyn, Cicero or the surrounding areas, you may be able to pursue full and fair compensation in an accident claim handled by our experienced attorneys. For a complimentary consultation, please call Sklare Law Group at 312-263-0771.