It was just about a year ago when we wrote about how distracted driving has become an epidemic in Illinois. Statistics at the time indicated that of fatal accidents involving individuals under the age of 20, 10 percent were reported to have been distracted at the time of a crash.
While we don't have specific data at our fingertips as we write this entry, we feel fairly confident in saying that the situation has not gotten any better. Indeed, if anything it has gotten worse. Serious injury vehicle crashes due to distracted driving continue to happen.
The use of a cellphone, whether it's for texting, conversing or following directions, can cause distractions that result in accidents that can be devastating. And phones aren't the only sources of distraction on the road. Regardless, victims of such crashes can face massive bills for medical care and lost wages. Too often, fear of incurring more cost keeps victims from seeking the legal help they need. That's something they don't need to worry about with attorneys who handle cases on a contingency fee basis.
One of the additional side effects of distracted driving is that the cost of the accidents that can be caused by negligent drivers is something we all could wind up being saddled with. Insurance companies, recognizing they need to manage their financial exposure to distracted driving claims are reportedly looking at raising rates across the entire pool of Illinois drivers.
That's the word from at least one veteran insurance agent. He says, as distracted driving accidents rise across central Illinois, insurers will have little recourse but to raise rates for all drivers.
It reportedly hasn't happened yet, but it seems it can only be a matter of time.