Our Chicago injury lawyers continue to report on the dangers of distracted driving, particularly text messaging and hand-held cell phone use behind the wheel.
So far, authorities don’t believe any fatalities have resulted from text messaging, but the fire department has seen an increase in distracted driving accidents, beginning with a 2008 crash in which a vehicle was struck by a motorist tuning the radio. The accident claimed the life of an 8-year-old boy.
Still, texting is a big problem in the village, despite the Illinois texting ban, which went into effect in January 2010. The law makes it illegal to text while driving and also prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones in school zones and construction sites. Using a cell phone while driving is prohibited inside the city limits of Chicago by separate city ordinance.
Chicago Heights Police Chief William Joyce wants motorists to eliminate all forms of distracted driving. “Five seconds to text, five seconds to do a radio scan, five seconds to discipline your kids,” Joyce said. “It only takes a second to travel the length of a football field when you are driving 40-45 mph. And you are driving a 2,000 to 3,000 pound weapon (while doing so).”
The Chief will be making several presentations through spring, with an emphasis on warning teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving. He uses a video from AT&T titled “The Last Text” and photos of accident scenes involving drunk drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 were injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.