April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month: The Texting and Driving Epidemic

Most of us have heard about the dangers of texting while driving. Campaigns like AT&T’s “It Can Wait” pledge or the U.S Department of Transportation’s “Project Yellow Light” have attempted to curb the increase in distracted driver-related accidents using statistics and powerful personal stories. Unfortunately, studies show that many people continue the dangerous practice of texting while driving. In fact, studies show that approximately one out of every four U.S car accidents is caused by a distracted driver using their cell phone. Unfortunately, many people continue to insist that they are capable of using a phone and operating a vehicle at the same time.

Legislators Respond to Reckless Distracted Drivers

For decades, drunk driving has been a huge concern for police and civilians alike. Shockingly, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated. Because of the dangerous nature of distracted driving, many states have created laws about cell phone use in the car. In Illinois, hand-held cell phones are banned for anyone operating a motor vehicle. If Illinois drivers wish to use their phone while driving, they can only use it hands-free. Drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Those who are 18 years old or younger will have to pull over if they wish to legally make a call while driving, as all cell phone use is illegal for drivers under age 19.

Unfortunately, even with a hands-free setup, the act of talking on the phone can be cognitively distracting. Drivers may make critical mistakes if their mind is on the conversation they are having instead of road hazards. Experts say the best way to minimize your risk of causing an accident is to wait to conduct all phone activity until you are parked.

When Texting and Driving Causes an Accident

Distracted drivers who are found to be at fault for an accident can also be found liable for any damages they caused. They may be responsible for paying for an injured person’s medical bills and loss of income or for property damage. In some cases, a distracted driver can even be ordered to pay punitive damages to encourage him or her to drive more carefully in the future.

Illinois Car Accident Injury Attorneys

If you have been hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you need an experinced DuPage County personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free initial consultation at Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered, call 630-462-1980 today.





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