Articles Tagged with distracted driving

Starting July 1st, Illinois is taking a tougher stance on motorists who use their cell phones while driving.

Drivers will no longer get a free pass for their first offense. melissa-mjoen-399641-unsplash-300x200Unlike the current law, where a first offense is a non-moving violation which does not affect your driving record, under the new law, you will get you a ticket for a moving violation if you are caught using a hand-held cell phone for any reason, even if it’s your first time. The ticket will have a fine of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $125 for a third, however, this does not include fees and costs which can make the total much higher. Receiving three tickets in a 12 month period will mean a license suspension.

According to the new law, you are only allowed to push one button to activate GPS or answer or make a call. So, unless you are using technology such as Bluetooth to access your phone hands-free, the following offenses will get you a ticket:

The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is a time for sun, fun, and vacation for many. Summer is here, and while this is a great timeadult-1866883_1920-3-300x225 for families to take it easy, it is not time for parents to relax when it comes to keeping their kids safe. In fact, the AAA Foundation refers to the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer because, on average, two teenagers die every day during these 100 days – an increase of 26% compared to other months of the year.  Car crashes are the leading cause of death for these teenagers, who also have the highest crash rate for any age group.

According to statistics, the primary cause of these deadly car crashes is distracted driving, which accounts for 60% of all teen crashes. And teens report that distracted driving involves more than just cell phones. In fact, the top distraction for teens—accounting for 15% of all crashes— is passengers distracting the driver. Cell phones are the second biggest distraction, causing 12% of all teen-related crashes.

Other than distracted driving, impaired driving and a failure to follow the rules of the road also account for a large percentage of teen crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

smart-watch-821559_1920 (1).jpgOver the last 10 years, cell phones have gone from large handheld phones we could use to make calls, to mini computers containing our mobile offices that we run our entire lives and businesses from. They are now essential tools in our everyday lives, but they are also incredibly dangerous when used while driving.

While everyone under the sun has acknowledged the dangers of distracted driving because of our smart phones, we have over-looked another – more distracting – device that is making driving more dangerous.

A study by the U.K. Transport Research Laboratory found that smartwatches are far more distracting than smartphones. According to the Huffington Post, the research found it takes 2.52 seconds for someone to react in the event of an emergency after looking at their smartwatch, compared to 1.85 seconds if they were using a smart phone.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for driving-844132_1920.jpgAre you aware that a simple, very common habit that you refuse to give up could end your life? Or your child’s? Or a stranger’s?

Every time you decide to save time in your busy schedule by talking or texting on your cell phone in the car, you are taking this chance.

Multiple articles, videos, and ads describe how dangerous this practice can be, showing graphic images of people crashing their car during their last text. Yet, people do not seem to be getting the message. On the contrary, recent statistics show the problem is increasing. Over the last two years traffic fatalities have gone up 14.4%. In fact, in 2016 more than 100 people died EVERY DAY in or near vehicles in this country. Experts conclude that this surge can be explained by three things:

Everyone knows not to text while driving, but sadly, many people do it all the time, which leads to car accidents and personal injury lawsuits. On this blog it has previously been discussed that a case is pending in New Jersey related to if someone not in a car can be responsible for the personal injuries of someone hit by a texting driver who was texting back and forth with them. Earlier this month a New Jersey court ruled on that issue: “We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.” The court has spoken. This has the potential to drastically change the legal landscape for distracted driving injury lawsuits nationwide. However, for the time being, New Jersey is the exception. But, states across the country (including Illinois) continue to toughen laws related to cell phone use while driving and distracted driving in general. As personal injury lawyers who deal with the consequences of distracted driving have been saying for years, there is a simple way to solve this problem, use common sense when behind the wheel and stop looking at your phone and focus on the road ahead. The cure for this problem is simple; this is not curing cancer. If drivers would simply put down their phones and make driving the #1 priority when behind the wheel, the roads would be a safer place, the number of injuries and fatalities would drop, and this country could focus on much more difficult problems that need to be solved.

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