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IL accident lawyerEveryone knows that using a cell phone while you are driving is unsafe. Taking your eyes off of the road or your hands off of the wheel for even just a few seconds can have disastrous effects. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour and you look down at your phone for five seconds, you drive the length of a football field without looking where you are going. The National Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about 660,000 drivers are using a cell phone while driving on an average day. However, studies conducted by Zendrive suggest that the issue of distracted driving is a far greater concern than we ever realized. Even more alarming, the issue seems to be worsening.

Nearly 70 Million People Use Their Phones While Driving Everyday

Cell phones and other handheld electronic devices have become an essential part of most people’s lives. Whether it is reading a text message, replying to email, looking up directions, or finding the perfect song, we use our cell phones for multiple reasons throughout the day. For many, using a cell phone while driving is a very difficult habit to break. However, it is a habit that leads to thousands of severe injuries and deaths every day. According to Zendrive’s study, nearly 60 percent of car accidents involve cell phone use behind the wheel. Just under 17 percent of auto collisions studied involved cell phone use during the five seconds immediately preceding the collision. Zendrive estimates that almost 70 million people are using a cell phone while driving on any given day.

COVID-19 Pandemic May Be Increasing the Prevalence of Distracted Driving

Lockdowns and closings intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have dramatically increased our reliance on smartphones and computers. Millions of children are now attending school remotely through their computers and tablets. Adults across the country have traded conference rooms for digital meeting rooms through programs like Zoom and Skype. It may be for these reasons that the frequency of distracted driving accidents has increased. According to Zendrive, cell phone use behind the wheel increased dramatically in March 2020. There was a similar increase in other dangerous behaviors like rapid acceleration. According to the data compiled by Zendrive, Chicago ranks second out of all major U.S. cities when it comes to cell phone use while driving.

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IL injury lawyerBy now, most people have heard the statistics about distracted driving: Over 1,000 people are injured, and approximately nine are killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver every day in the U.S. Distracted driving is also a contributing factor in 60 percent of car crashes involving a teenage driver. To combat this growing problem, Illinois recently enacted harsher penalties for drivers who drive while distracted.

Illinois Law Prohibits Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel

Distracted driving includes any activity that takes your attention off of the road. It can involve visual distractions, manual distractions, and cognitive distractions. Texting, browsing social media, or otherwise using a cell phone while driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions. To reduce the number of auto accidents caused by distracted driving, Illinois and several other states have increased the penalties for cell phone use behind the wheel. The Illinois Secretary of State now has the authority to suspend or revoke a person’s driver’s license if he or she causes a car accident resulting in bodily harm while using an electronic device. The fine for using a device and causing an accident resulting in injury has also been increased from $75 to $1,000. Drivers are expected to use voice-operated or hands-free options if they need to make a call while driving.

Personal Injury Claims and Distracted Driving Accidents

Car accidents caused by distracted driving can result in devastating injuries that require significant medical intervention. In some cases, a serious auto accident can result in injuries that leave a person disabled or disfigured for the rest of his or her life. Medical expenses, property damage, and lost income resulting from a car accident often represents a huge financial burden. Unfortunately, car insurance companies are notorious for offering only partial compensation for the losses caused by car accidents. A personal injury claim can help an injured person pursue the full compensation he or she needs.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneyFew technologies have had the impact on Americans’ daily lives that smartphones have had. You may use a smartphone to stay connected with loved ones, check the weather forecast, take pictures and videos, listen to music, and more. Unfortunately, as smartphone technology becomes more and more advanced, people become more and more reliant on their phones. Some people cannot even put their phone down when they are behind the wheel of the car. If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident involving distracted driving, you may have a valid personal injury claim.

Shocking Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,000 people died in car accidents caused by distracted driving in 2018, and many more were injured. Texting and driving has long been an issue on U.S. roads, but now, there are even more smartphone-related distractions to be concerned about. Social media, emails, and mobile game apps are just as distracting as texting is. Some motorists even admit to watching Netflix or other video streaming services while operating a car.

Of course, phones are not the only distraction that can lead to accidents. Kids or pets can also be a major distraction for many motorists. A driver may take his or her eyes off of the road for only a few moments to deal with a problem in the backseat only to realize that he or she is headed straight for a collision. Distracted driving can even be caused simply by the presence of passengers in vehicle. Anything that takes a driver’s mind away from driving, eyes off of the road, or hands off of the wheel can result in serious or even deadly car accidents.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThese days, we use cell phones for almost everything that once required the use of a personal computer. Modern technology allows us to watch the news, check our bank account balance, and even shop for groceries all with our smartphone. Unfortunately, the increasing functionality of cell phones also means more opportunities for distracted driving. Texting and driving has long been a major concern, but now motorists and pedestrians must also worry about drivers scrolling through Facebook, taking pictures of themselves, or even watching Netflix while driving.

Distracted Driving Concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nine people are killed in accidents involving distracted driving every day in the U.S. and over 1,000 are injured. When cell phones first gained widespread popularity among the general public, the main concern was texting and driving. Today, there are many additional dangers. In one study, nearly 20 percent of drivers admitted to checking social media accounts while driving. Even more surprising, 8 percent of drivers admitted to watching videos while driving.

Some experts estimate that distracted driving has become an even graver concern than driving under the influence of alcohol. Many people assume that distracted driving refers only to cell phone use, but electronic devices are not the only distractions that can cause deadly car accidents. Anything that takes your hands off of the wheel, your eyes off of the road, or your attention away from driving constitutes distracted driving.  

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Gurnee distracted driving accident lawyerHeading into the middle of July, the vast majority of Americans are out and about enjoying the heat of summer. Adults and teenagers alike are making plans with friends, cranking up the music, and setting out to enjoy the seemingly endless outdoor recreation possibilities. But as you and your family go out to enjoy summer plans, make sure you remain focused while behind the wheel. In 2016 alone, 3,540 Americans lost their lives in distracted driving accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is described as any activity that diverts one’s eyes, hands, or overall awareness from the road. Throughout 2015, over 300,000 people nationwide suffered injuries that required hospitalization due to distracted driving. If you or a loved one are injured in a motor vehicle accident this summer, contacting an experienced personal injury attorney can help you and your family get the help you deserve. 

Avoiding Distractions on the Road  

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