Each year, thousands of Americans are killed in traffic collisions caused by distracted drivers. The devastating statistics encompassing this national epidemic has prompted lawmakers, law enforcement officials, and various awareness groups to take a stand against distracted driving behaviors. Under Illinois Statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, it is illegal to use cell phones and other electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. Starting July of this year, using a cell phone without a hands-free device will be considered a moving violation. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped Illinois residents from taking calls and sending texts while driving.
Illinois & Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the state troopers in Illinois are working overtime to keep our roads and highways safe. The State of Illinois recently issued a press release to warn the public that there will be an increase in patrols and enforcement zones next month. In fact, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) gave 115 law enforcement agencies $1 million to facilitate distracted driving citations. IDOT is also planning to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving by running TV, radio, digital, and billboard spots.
In 2018, the Illinois State Police issued over 14,000 citations to drivers who were caught using cell phones and hands-free devices, a 700% percent increase from 2017. Mary Wisniewski, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, interviewed Illinois State Police Sergeant Christopher “Joey” Watson about this aggressive crackdown. As Sergeant Watson explains, “There was a learning curve with the public. We gave a lot of warnings, and the state police began transitioning more to a hard citation.”
IDOT asks that all motorists follow these steps to ensure the safety of everyone on the road:
- Pull over if you need to text or take a phone call.
- Ask a passenger to help you answer texts and calls
- Do not engage in social media scrolling while driving
- Leave your cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat
Injured by a Distracted Driver? Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Distracted driving is responsible for over 3,000 fatalities a year. If you’ve been injured by the choices and actions of a distracted driver, contact the Chicago car accident attorneys at McHargue & Jones, LLC. Our honest and experienced legal team has been representing the rights and interests of the wrongfully injured for over 20 years. Because we understand the personal and financial hardships associated with a severe accident injury, we provide our services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you can pursue justice and compensation without worrying about attorney fees. With our help, you can recover damages that account for your lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation costs and more.
Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and awards. Contact McHargue & Jones, LLC at (312) 487-2461 to schedule a free case evaluation today.