Nationwide, people using cell phones while driving cause around 1.6 million accidents. In 2018 alone, 2,841 people lost their lives due to accidents caused by distracted drivers, necessitating the need for experienced car accident lawyers.
The State of Illinois takes distracted driving due to hand-held devices seriously, including texting while driving. As of 2019, Illinois law prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones, texting, or other electronic communication devices while operating a vehicle. However, hands-free devices and bluetooth devices are allowed for people who are 19 years of age and older.
Many people don’t realize how dangerous it is to check or respond to a text while driving. As part of our daily lives, it has become routine to check and respond to text messages and emails frequently throughout the day.
However, if you take your eyes off the road for just five seconds at a speed of 55 miles per hour to read or respond to a text message, your car will travel the entire length of a football field during that time period.
Can you imagine driving the length of a football field without looking at the road?
Obviously, this is extremely dangerous behavior. And if your speed is greater than 55 mph, the distance traveled without your eyes on the road is even greater.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Illinois with a distracted driver, you need to retain a highly experienced personal injury lawyer. At Drake & Collopy, P.C., our team of experienced attorneys can help you understand your rights and aggressively seek to recover the maximum compensation available under the law. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case in detail.
Cell Phone Laws in Illinois
As mentioned above, it is illegal to use your cell phone without hands-free operation while driving in Illinois. The only exceptions are:
- To report an emergency situation;
- You are parked on the shoulder of a road; or
- While stopped in traffic and your vehicle is in park or neutral
Common Questions About Texting and Driving in Illinois
What are the penalties for texting while driving in Illinois?
Aside from the possibility of causing an accident, you may be given a citation for texting or talking on the phone while driving. The penalties range from $75 for the first offense to $150 for the fourth offense.
Is a ticket for texting while driving considered a moving violation in Illinois?
Yes. A conviction for texting while driving will appear on your driving record.
Is it illegal to text while you are stopped at a red light?
In Illinois, it is illegal to talk or text on your phone when you are stopped at a stop sign or red light. Even while you are stopped, you are still considered to be actively driving. You are required to maintain control of your vehicle at all times and to remain alert to traffic moving around you.
What if you are in an accident while texting or talking on the phone?
Aside from likely being named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit, you may also be charged with a crime. If the accident resulted in bodily harm, disfigurement, or permanent disability to someone else, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If the accident results in someone’s death, you can be charged with a Class 4 felony in Illinois.
If you are involved in an accident with someone who was using an electronic device when the incident occurred, you have the right to recover compensation. Experienced personal injury lawyers can protect your rights by obtaining critical evidence such as the cell phone records of the other driver.
Get in Touch with Drake & Collopy, P.C. for Help and Information
Distracted driving is a serious problem in Illinois and throughout the country. If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, we encourage you to get in touch with our team of car accident lawyers at Drake & Collopy, P.C., today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.