Distracted driving is not a new concept. Car accidents due to drivers being distracted by their passengers, the radio or even eating and drinking have been happening for many years,. However Illinois officials are of the opinion that smartphones are the most dangerous distraction of all.
Statistics indicate that every year 1.6 million car accidents happen because drivers are distracted, and during 2015 alone, 3,477 fatalities occurred due to distracted driving in the United States. A recent survey among U. S. drivers indicates that 81 percent of them recognize the dangers of texting as a driver, but at the same time approximately 50 percent admit to texting while driving as recently as the last 30 days. It is particularly young drivers who are the most at risk, as they have grown up with the technology. Illinois traffic officials, in conjunction with the American Automobile Association, are planning to create awareness of the dangers involved with using a phone while driving by stigmatizing the habit, education and enforcing the law.
An accident resulting from the use of a cell phone constitutes negligence — perhaps even recklessness — and may result in both criminal charges and civil claims. Victims of such accidents have the option to consult with a personal injury lawyer to assess their legal rights. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means no initial costs to the plaintiff.
According to Illinois law, victims seriously injured in car accidents may choose to file personal injury claims against a driver and.or other party believed responsible, should negligence be the root cause of the accident. The legal estate of a deceased victim may file a wrongful death claim. Successfully litigated claims may result in an award of financial damages, which can provide much needed relief during an understandingly difficult time.
Source: foxillinois.com, “Illinois Working to Combat Distracted Driving“, Jaclyn Driscoll, April 25, 2017