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Is distracted driving still a problem in Illinois?

Despite numerous laws and serious consequences, Illinois drivers continue to succumb to the temptation of multitasking while behind the wheel. Whether this means eating, reading, personal grooming or making a phone call, drivers can miss important safety signs, warning signals and traffic patterns. Unfortunately, even though distracted driving seems to be mentioned in news items on a regular basis, the danger has not been eradicated.

Driving distractions are typically categorized as either manual distractions, cognitive distractions or visual distractions. Some activities can blur the lines between these categories. An activity such as texting can satisfy all three categories. Therefore texting while driving is often at the forefront of anti-distraction ad campaigns.

Unfortunately, even with the spotlight on preventing distractions, distracted drivers continue to cause serious, and fatal, collisions throughout the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation reported that there were 854 fatal crashes in 2018. The report also noted that as of November 21, 2019, there were 827 fatal crashes that year.

Distractions can impact a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. Even something seemingly innocuous, like taking a drink from a coffee cup or soda bottle, can pull a hand off the steering wheel and eyes off the road. In fact, any activity that pulls attention from the act of safely operating the car or truck is a distraction. A conversation with a passenger, for example, pulls a driver’s full attention from avoiding obstacles such as slowed traffic.

Collisions caused by distracted drivers can have severe consequences. From contusions and broken bones to head trauma and spinal cord damage, a collision can have lasting effects on vehicle occupants. Unfortunately, depending on numerous factors, the vehicle crash can cause a fatality. Do not hesitate to seek the guidance of a trusted legal professional regarding your rights for monetary compensation.