Chicago car accidents blamed on distracted driving involve more than text messaging and cell phones

The USA Today is the latest to report on the growing chorus of voices that contend the emphasis on text messaging and cell phone use while driving is coming at the expense of focusing on the many other forms of distracted driving.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys have reported extensively on the cell phone and text messaging debate — Illinois became one of 30 states to forbid drivers from text messaging when its law took effect on Jan. 1.The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a study that found text messaging bans were actually increasing the number of distracted driving accidents in states where they are in place — perhaps because motorists were attempting to hide their phones in their laps, thereby taking their eyes off the road for an even longer period of time and exacerbating the problem.

The group has become increasingly critical of the government’s focus on text messaging and the use of hand-held devices by drivers.

“They’re focusing on a single manifestation of distracted driving and banning it,” IIHS President Adrian Lund said. “This ignores the endless sources of distraction and relies on banning one source or another to solve the whole problem.”

We have reported on the many other forms of distracted driving, both here and on our sister site, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, including the risk of distracted driving accidents while driving with your dog or pet in your vehicle.

Other forms of distracted driving include eating, drinking, smoking, grooming, applying makeup, reading, adjusting the radio or using GPS or other in-car electronics, and talking to passengers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration blames nearly 5,500 deaths and 450,000 injuries a year on accidents caused by distracted driving. Only speeding and drunk driving are blamed for more traffic fatalities.

If you have been injured in a car accident in the Chicago area, call Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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