As an experienced Chicago personal injury law firm, we were not surprised by the results of a recent study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The study results concluded that the number of fatal automobile accidents involving teen drivers increased in 2011. Over the past decade, the number of deaths resulting from car accidents involving teenagers was showing a steady decline. Why the sudden increase in 2011?
This makes one think, is it due to lack of experience behind the wheel or lack of attention? Distracted driving is a problem for drivers of all ages. As an experienced driver knows, handling multiple distractions while driving can be a difficult task. Now replace the driver with a naive teenager driver. The results could be catastrophic. Take a moment and think about the last time you were driving. How many drivers regardless of age did you encounter using a mobile device? Texting and talking on mobile devices has become the norm on our roads today. Few drivers seem to care that studies show, using cell phones while driving can have serious consequences. As experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys, we have been involved in a multitude of cases that involve distracted driving accidents.
Exactly, what is a distraction? It is defined as the deviation of one's attention. A distraction can be anything that takes the drivers attention away from the road. As a veteran Chicago distracted driving accident law firm we recognize, the number one driving distraction is talking on the cell phone. Texting while driving is a close second. Besides talking and texting on mobile devices, there are many other forms of distractions.
- Types of distracted driving include:
- Talking on cellphones
- Monitoring and programming GPS devices
- Computer use
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Load music
- Load and excessive talking
- Yelling or disciplining children
- Applying makeup
In the State of Illinois, localities are tasked with determining their own laws regarding mobile phone utilization while driving. The City of Chicago has made using a cellular phone without a hands-free device illegal. The exception is school bus drivers and teenage drivers, who cannot use any type of mobile device while driving. The State of Illinois has banned texting while driving. It is illegal to talk on a mobile device in a construction or school zone while driving in Illinois.
Why do we continue to see cell phones being held in the driver's hands? Despite laws that prohibit such actions, many drivers continue to take the opportunity to talk or text while driving. Drivers may wonder, if an accident should occur, how can it be proven that I was using a mobile device? An experienced Chicago distracted driving accident lawyer can subpoena the negligent driver's mobile cell phone records. In a personal injury case, cell phone records can be used to determine if the at fault or negligent driver was talking or texting at the time of the accident.
If you are involved in a Chicago car accident that was caused by a distracted driver talking or texting, it is essential that you contact an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to preserve the evidence of your case. Cell phone records are only available for a limited time. Rapid recovery of the cell phone records can be critical to your car accident case.