This month was National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Thousands of fatalities in recent years can be attributed to car accidents that involve distracted driving as a contributing factor.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,450 people killed in distracted driving-related accidents in 2016 (which is the most recent year for such data collection). That was an 8 percent increase since 2014.
All demographic groups are represented when it comes to texting and driving: All ages and genders text. The NHTSA says while young adults (ages 19-24 are more inclined to text and drive than any other age group, according to AAA) have the highest rates of texting behind the wheel, their older peers are not far behind. The organization AAA says phone use while driving contributes to almost 100 deaths a day in this country.
In Illinois, use of a hand-held device while driving is banned. That means you can be pulled over if a police officer observes you holding a phone with your hand while driving. Hands-free technology (Bluetooth, an earpiece or headset) is allowed for motorists over the age of 18.
Here are a few tips for safer driving:
- Before every drive, take a moment to remind yourself that your only job is to drive until you reach your destination
- If the ding, beep or chime of an incoming message is tempting to you, turn your phone to silent before you begin driving
- Remind your friends, loved ones and colleagues of the dangers of driving – all it takes is a moment for an accident to occur that could have been avoided
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted, careless or reckless driver in Chicago, Cicero, Oak Park, Berwyn or the surrounding areas, please call Sklare Law Group at 312-263-0771 for a free consultation.