A Champaign teenager has admitted to texting while driving in the fatal Illinois pedestrian accident that killed an elderly Chicago resident, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The 19-year-old pleaded guilty in court to failure to reduce speed to avoid and accident and to texting while driving. As our Chicago injury attorneys reported last week on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, many states, including Illinois, have outlawed texting while driving.
Police say the teenager struck the 84-year-old Chicago resident in downtown Urbana. The man had been at a downtown restaurant to celebrate a relative’s graduation. He had gone to check on his dog in a parked car when he was struck and killed.
Nationwide, more than 6,000 people are killed and 500,000 are injured in accidents blamed on distracted driving each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The federal government’s distracted driving website places particular emphasis on the dangers of cell phone use and text messaging while driving. Other forms of distracted driving include eating, drinking, smoking, applying makeup, grooming, talking to passengers, reading or using in-car electronic devices.
The government reports that younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of fatal crashes blamed on distracted driving.
The News-Gazette report is available here.