Chicago Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers
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Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States. In fact, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 3,166 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2017 alone. Across the United States, the Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that nine people are killed each day in accidents that involve a distracted driver.
If you were injured by a distracted driver, a car accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Our Chicago distracted driving accident lawyers offer comprehensive counsel to injury victims who are seeking justice after an accident.
Call our Chicago distracted driving accident attorneys at (312) 888-8700 today to schedule your free consultation.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is more than just driving while using a hand-held device. Whenever a driver diverts their focus away from the road or removes their hands from the wheel, this is considered to be distracted driving. It only takes a second-long distraction for a serious or fatal accident to occur.
Examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting and reading texts
- Talking on the phone
- Taking pictures or streaming live video
- Applying makeup
- Changing your music
- Talking to other passengers
- Reading a newspaper, map, or book
While these activities can be able classified as distracted driving by an insurance adjuster or personal injury attorney, currently the only activities banned by law are talking on the phone and texting while driving. Illinois law also prohibits cell phone use while driving in a school zone or a highway construction zone.
Illinois Cell Phone Law
Current Illinois legislation bans the use of all hand-held devices while driving; this law includes a ban on texting and driving. But more complex than that. Drivers under the age of 19 are strictly prohibited from using cell phones, hands-free or not, while driving. The only exception is in an emergency situation.
All drivers, regardless of age, are prohibited from using a cell phone in any capacity while driving:
- through a school speed zone
- in a construction zone
- within 500 feet of an emergency scene
There is an extension of the cell phone law in Illinois that additionally bans other electronic devices, such as tablets, laptops, and any device that has the capacity to stream video. The electronic device law does have some exceptions, but it is still advisable to avoid using any electronic device while driving.
Finally, because driving while distracted by a cell phone or other electronic device dangerous, it can lead to a reckless driving charge. If you've been injured by this type of driver, our Chicago distracted driver accident attorneys want to help.
What Should You Do If You See Someone Texting & Driving?
While you might feel angry and be tempted to react to someone who is texting while driving in the heat of the moment, it is never a good idea to let your emotions get the better of you while behind the wheel. The best thing you can do is to give the texting driver space; stay a considerable distance away from them in order to protect your own safety and avoid making a dangerous situation even more hazardous. If necessary, you can even pull over to the side of the road (if it is safe to do so) in order to avoid the distracted driver. If you do pull over to the road and you believe that the texting driver is creating a dangerous situation for others, this is a good time to contact local police and report the incident. If possible, avoiding calling 9-1-1; rather, contact your local police department by finding their non-emergency number (this is typically available online). However, if you are unable to find the local police number and you truly believe people’s lives are at risk, you can report a texting driver by calling 9-1-1.
If you are actually in the car with someone who is texting while driving, ask them to stop. Don’t be afraid to speak up, and don’t feel that you can’t demand the driver stop texting; after all, by driving distracted they are putting your life—and the lives of anyone else in the vehicle—at risk, no matter how good of a driver they believe themselves to be. And, of course, when you are driving, never text. If you feel that your friends and family might try to contact you while you are on the road, let them know ahead of time that you will be driving and unable to return text messages during that time. It’s never acceptable to text while driving, so make it a habit to keep your phone turned off, switched to silent mode, or simply out of sight and out of reach while you are driving.
Why Hire an Attorney after a Distracted Driving Accident?
In the aftermath of a car accident, it can be difficult to handle the insurance claim process and find evidence that the other driver was indeed distracted. You have enough on your plate – focus on recovering and let McNabola & Associates, LLC handle the legal work.
Our Chicago distracted driving lawyers can help by investigating the scene of the accident, reviewing police reports, assessing eyewitness accounts, and reviewing other pieces of evidence that may point to the use of a cell phone or another distraction. We leave no stone unturned in our investigations and remain committed to building a strong claim on your behalf.
Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver?
Becoming a licensed driver means you have agreed to drive with a duty of care for others on the road. Distracted driving is a form of recklessness that has been proven to cause accidents; these drivers are a danger to themselves and others on the road. If you were injured by a distracted driver, get the help you need from a trusted car accident lawyer. Our Chicago distracted driving accident attorneys are ready to fight for you.