Distracted driving is a huge issue in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving." In addition, the number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes was 3,328 in 2012. With the booming trend in texting and utilization of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle, the State of Illinois this past year implemented a new traffic law:
As of January 1, 2014, Illinois bans the use of all hand-held devices while driving in the state. Only hands-free technology such as speakerphones, Bluetooth devices, and headsets are permitted. According to the legislation, "A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device."
Previously, the State of Illinois had banned only texting while driving, but this law goes further by banning any use of a handheld electronic device such as a wireless telephone, mobile computer, or a personal digital assistant. The law, however, does not ban the use of a navigation or global positioning system that's used as part, either physically or electronically, of the motor vehicle. Another exception to this law would be if the person utilizing their cell phone while in a motor vehicle is pulled off on the shoulder of the road or if there’s an emergency that requires immediate communication.
Regardless of cell phone laws, it's important to stay as focused as possible while driving to reduce the chance of car accidents. Distracted driving can be a significant safety hazard, not only for the driver and their passengers, but for the other individuals on the road as well. Distracted driving becomes especially high-risk when you're traveling through heavy traffic, an unknown area, or under poor weather conditions. Be observant while driving to help keep our roads safe; however, if you've suffered a personal injury in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact our accident injury lawyers today.