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Driving Distractions Do Not Always Involve Texting

 Posted on October 23, 2023 in Distracted Driving Accidents

IL injury lawyerDistracted driving encompasses any activity that takes your attention away from the road. If you are distracted behind the wheel, you are putting yourself, your passengers, and all road users in harm’s way.

Did you know that one in nine people in the United States are killed due to a distracted driver? While texting is a leading cause of distracted driving accidents, it is not the only issue plaguing Americans.

Read on, as our Waukegan car accident attorneys discuss various driving distractions, how the state of Illinois is cracking down on the issue, and ways to keep yourself and your passengers safe.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted or inattentive driving includes any activity that takes your mind off the road. More than 1.6 million crashes in North America each year are due to a distracted driver.

Driving distractions can involve visual, cognitive, and manual distractions.

Distracted driving may include any of the following:

  • Eating, drinking, or smoking
  • Combing or brushing your hair
  • Breaking up a fight between your kids
  • Putting in contact lenses or eye drops
  • Changing the radio station
  • Applying make-up
  • Reaching for the glove compartment
  • Texting or talking on a cell phone

If you are doing any of these tasks while your vehicle is in motion, you are driving distracted! 

Illinois Laws to Prevent Distracted Driving

The state of Illinois has put steps into place to prevent distracted driving:

Cell Phone Use

Illinois law prohibits drivers from using a hand-held device but does allow cell phone use for drivers at least 19 years of age. An adult driver must be using a Bluetooth headset, earpiece, or activate voice commands to legally use a cell phone. However, it is illegal for all drivers to text, e-mail, or browse the internet while operating a vehicle.

While you may think that talking on a cell phone is not really that big a deal, think again. Talking on your cell phone is both a manual and cognitive distraction, taking your hands off the wheel and your mind away from driving.

Graduated Driver’s License

A newly licensed driver will have driving restrictions. For the first year that a driver has his or her license, or until the driver turns 18, the individual cannot have more than one passenger under the age of 20 in the vehicle. There are exceptions if the driver is transporting a sibling, stepsibling, or other family member.

While some argue that having a conversation with passengers is less distracting than talking on a cell phone, there are studies that show it can be just as dangerous. Having a conversation with others is a cognitive distraction, impacting driving performance.  

Ways to Avoid Distractions While Driving

Unfortunately, at one time or another, we are all distracted while driving. There are precautions you can take to avoid being distracted:

  • Limit conversations with passengers
  • Keep your eyes on the road
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel
  • Avoid driving if you are fatigued 
  • Complete your task once you reach your destination—it can wait!

Sadly, many drivers do not adhere to the law. A Lake County distracted driving accident lawyer can gather evidence to determine if you were the victim of a distracted driving accident.

Helping Victims of Waukegan, IL, Distracted Driving Accidents

If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of a distracted driver, we are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. At Salvi & Maher, LLP, you won’t pay our Lake County, IL, car accident lawyers unless we recover a settlement or verdict in your favor. Contact us online or call 847-662-3303 today to schedule your free consultation. 

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Contact a Lake County Vehicle Accident Attorney Who is Ready to Help You

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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