Abels & Annes

Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Chicago Believed to be underestimated

Distracted driving has become a critical safety issue in recent years with the continuous advancement in technology and is now a contributing factor in a great number of car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere in the world.

Now, Car Talk has totaled the costs of distracted driving, according to the Chicago Tribune. According to the National Safety Council, each distracted driving traffic accident costs about $1,130,000 if there’s a fatality, approximately $61,600 if there’s a resulting injury and about $7,500 per accident resulting in property damage. Nearly 30 percent of all traffic accidents involve a distracted driver. These are accidents that can all be prevented.
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The occurrence of these accidents is expected to be even higher than statistics conclude because many are not reported. In 2009, there were approximately 5,400 people killed in traffic accidents that reported the involvement of a distracted driver. Another 450,000 motorists were injured in these accidents. Experts also estimate that the number of these preventable accidents has increased by as much as 10 percent just in the last 5 years.

Our Chicago car crash attorneys understand how dangerous it is to drive distracted. Nowadays, distractions include other passengers, mobile devices, music, eating at the wheel and grooming, to name a few. No driver should participate in any of these activities while operating a motor vehicle as the results can oftentimes be deadly. Distractions can either take your mind or eyes of the road and your hands off the wheel.

An insurance company recently paid out more than $30 million in a settlement for a deadly car accident that was caused by distracted driving, according to Jesse White, the Secretary of State.

Illinois roadways are dangerous enough as it is without the involvement of distraction. According to recent statistics, our state experiences more than 700 traffic accidents every day. This means that we see nearly 240,000 motor-vehicle accidents every year.

Here are some other Illinois traffic accident facts:

-Accidents resulting in injury: more than 197,000.

-Alcohol-related accidents: more than 20,000.

-Drug-related accidents: nearly 2,000.

-Pedestrian accidents: nearly 8,500.

-Motorcycle accidents: nearly 9,000.

-Teen accidents: nearly 25,000.

-Bicycle accidents: almost 5,000.

Currently, drivers in the state of Illinois are not allowed to be on a cell phone if they are driving through a construction zone or through a school speed zone or if they’re under the age of 19 and have a learner’s permit. No driver in the state of Illinois is allowed to text message while driving. This is a primary law, meaning that an officer can pull you over for the offense if they witness you in action. The text messaging law went into effect back in January of 2010. You will receive a $75 fine if you’re busted.

Our state will continue to campaign about the danger of distracted driving through public campaigns, including the “Drive Now. Text Later” campaign.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident with a distracted driver, the Chicago injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free consultations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Car Talk Finds the Economic Cost of Distracted Driving, by Colin Bird, Chicago Tribune
More Blog Entries:

New Technology Aims to Curb Driver Distractions and Prevent Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 14, 2011

New Report Focuses on Causes of and Solutions to Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 6, 2011