Teenage texting ban proposed to reduce Chicago auto accidents

Illinois car crash lawyers at Abels & Annes are very aware of the issues and dangers involved with distracted driving. We are currently in the process of attempting to negotiate a settlement on behalf of a pedestrian that was injured by a distracted driver. The defendant’s cell phone rang, and as he tried to locate the device he lost control of his car and drove up onto a sidewalk, striking our client.

Now in an effort to reduce Chicago car crashes, a group of Aldermen are proposing new legislation that would require cell phones sold in the city be equipped with technology that would give parents the option to disable texting for their teen drivers. NBC News reported that Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward) announced the proposed legislation on Wednesday. He says it is a tough new measure and he wants the law to come into effect for all cell phones bought after January 1, 2012.

Retailers that sell phones without the text blocking option would face fines up to $1000. Ald. Anthony Beal, Michelle Harris, Richard Mell and Ray Suarez are also supporting the proposal.

Yahoo! News reports that texting behind the wheel has become a major issue throughout the United States as motorists (especially teenage drivers) become distracted while driving and texting at the same time. The article goes on to say that a University of Utah study found that texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. Motorists are four times more likely to cause a collision while intoxicated or using a cell phone, but they are eight times more likely to be involved in an accident while texting.

The Utah study also found that over 50% of teens admitted texting sometimes while operating a vehicle, and almost 19% admitted to texting regularly. In 2009 alone, just under 5500 people died as a result of distracted driving, with just under 1000 of those deaths involving cell phone use and texting.

The City of Chicago has actually been a leader in the fight against distracted driving. In addition to this newly proposed texting law, motorists are barred from talking on their cell phones unless they’re using a hands-free device. Further, teen drivers are not allowed to use cell phones or text while driving.

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver in the State of Illinois, contact a Chicago personal injury attorney at Abels & Annes for free case evaluation. Call 312-924-7575 speak directly to a lawyer now.

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