Abels & Annes

Cell Phone Use While Driving is Claiming Lives

122215Most people are so tied to their cell phones that they feel lost if they forget their phone at home for the day. Cell phones are now used for much more than telephone calls – they are the means to consume media, access social networks, and text and email others. Cell phones are so prevalent that a recent study by the Pew Research Foundation found that 24 percent of teens in America access social media “almost constantly,” and that cell phones are making it possible.

Cell phones can be a great tool and even a life saving device when an emergency arises, but like all forms of technology, they have their proper time and place. And as time progresses, experts are chiming in that driving should not be one of those times. Motorists who use a cell phone while behind the wheel are more likely to be distracted, more likely to leave their lane of traffic, and more likely to cause a car accident than those who ditch their phones while driving.

The risk is so extreme that countless jurisdictions across the county have enacted legislation specifically to address cell phone use by drivers. Many of those that do not have cellphone-specific rules have other laws against driving while distracted that are broad enough to encompass cell phone use. Both Illinois and Chicago have taken steps to make handheld cell phone use illegal except in emergency situations and young drivers are not allowed to use cell phones at all. Further restrictions on the use of cell phones in construction sites and school zones illustrate just how serious of a threat to safety cell phone use is believed to be.

Studies have routinely shown that certain cell phone activities can make a motorist as dangerous – or even more so – than a drunk driver, a fact that is often overlooked by those who use their cell phones.

All drivers must realize that their individual actions contribute to the safety of all roads in Chicago and therefore it is critically important that everyone put safety first. This means refraining from texting while driving, never sending or reading an email behind the wheel, not watching video or other streaming content, and otherwise avoiding the use of a phone except when absolutely necessary. If you are the parent of a teen or a preteen, make sure you explain the dangers associated with cell phone use and driving and bring home the point that distracted driving is never acceptable. Further, encourage friends and family members to operate their cars in a reasonable manner by reminding them of how problematic cell phone use while driving can be in the Chicago area.

If you were involved in a car accident with a driver on a cell phone and you were injured, you may have the right to seek financial compensation for your damages, including the injuries you sustained. Speaking with the personal injury team at Abels & Annes, P.C. can help you realize what legal options may exist in your case and whether you have a valid claim for monetary damages, whether the claim is against an at-fault driver, that driver’s insurance company, a corporation, a city or municipality, or even your own automobile insurance.

We have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we offer all injury victims a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us and everything discussed will be kept confidential. If you or someone you love was affected by a collision, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now and let us get to work for you.

Prior Blog Entry:

CDC Reports that Illinois Seat Belt Usage is Too Low, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published December 14, 2015.