Abels & Annes

Chicago car accident lawyers examine impact of distracted driving as part of Summer Safe Driving series

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More than 1.5 million people will get into a car accident this year because of driver distraction, according to federal statistics.

That’s more than 4,300 crashes a day!

The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, handle cases often where someone was injured or killed by a distracted driver. As part of its Summer Safe Driving series, the firm urges everyone to take a minute and review their driving habits to eliminate points of distraction.

Eighty percent of the nation’s 6 million auto accidents are caused by some form of driver distraction in the three seconds leading to the collision, according to a landmark 2006 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

AAA has also studied the issue and provides a number of driver resources.

The problem is so serious that Illinois commissioned a distracted driver task force that issued its final report last year.

Legislation sponsored by Illinois Rep. William Blake, R-Danville, would create a misdemeanor category of negligent vehicular homicide, which could result in up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine for distracted drivers who cause a fatal accident. Black pushed for the reform after a 25-year-old Urbana cyclist was killed by a driver who went off the road while downloading ring tones on her cell phone.

The NHTSA found:
-Reaching for a moving object while driving increases your risk of a crash by 9 times.
– Dialing a hand held device increases your risk of an accident by 3 times.
– Looking at an external object increases your risk by 3.7 times.
– Reading or applying makeup increases your risk by 3 times.

The state’s distracted driving task force notes Illinois has been a leader in battling distracted driving, with a number of laws on the books, including: prohibiting driver headsets in 2001; prohibiting bus drivers from operating cell phones in 2002; prohibiting media technology other than navigation systems from being visible to the driver; and prohibiting drivers under 19 from using cell phones.

A national survey revealed the following typical driver distractions:

– Talking to passengers – Adjusting vehicle climate/radio controls – Eating – Using a cell phone – Tending to children – Reading – Grooming -Preparing for work
Signs you are a distracted driver:
– Has a passenger in your vehicle screamed or gasped because of something you did or did not do?
– Have you ran a stop sign or traffic control device unintentionally?
– Have you slammed on the brakes because you did not see the car in front of you stop?
– Have you ever reached your destination and not recalled part or all of the journey?


If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a Chicago car accident, the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee without recovery.