The Chicago Tribune recently reported that the Illinois House of Representatives has passed a new law aimed at reducing the risk of auto accidents. The law would institute a ban on the use of cell phones within a 500-foot proximity of auto accidents. As our Chicago car accident lawyers understand it, the ban would also apply to the use of other mobile devices such as laptops, but not to the use of navigation systems. There are also exceptions to the ban, including the legal use of cell phones when pulled over on the shoulder of the road and when in park or neutral due to obstructions in traffic.
The bill passed the House by a wide margin, but it was not without criticism. Opponents of the law believe that the law is an instance of severe overregulation. The proponents, conversely, view the regulation as a necessary means to reduce the risks associated with driving.
Many accident lawyers, as well as our very own Chicago car accident attorneys, have noted the increase in laws targeted at cell phone use while driving. Preceding Illinois automotive laws dealing with the use of cell phones have banned the use of such devices in school and construction zones. Additional Illinois laws have banned text messaging while driving. In a previous post in our Chicago car accident lawyer blog, our attorneys discussed the potential complications of determining the scope and proper enforcement of such laws.
Regardless of the complications, these laws are timely given the increasing problem of distraction related car accidents. According to statistics presented by Distraction.gov, 3,000 people were killed and over 400,000 injured due to distraction caused motor vehicle accidents. A large percentage of these accidents were due to the use of cell phones. This is a significant increase over the years, and illuminates the potential harms of distracted driving. Many statistics, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s NHSTA Traffic Safety Facts, cite the rise of cell phone use amongst younger drivers. The fact is, however, these trends are likely to continue and distracted driving effects everyone, not just teens. Car accidents can result in significant personal and financial loss, something our Chicago auto accident lawyers know all too well.
Our attorneys have handled Illinois accident lawsuits dealing with such circumstances, and we know that legal action is possible and sometimes necessary. The concerned lawyers at Levin & Perconti have the appropriate experience and knowledge to help should you or someone you know fall victim to the negligence of a distracted driver.