Articles Posted in Distracted Driving

It’s been more than a year since a new Illinois state law was enacted to prohibit drivers from talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel without the use of a hands-free device. The policy was meant to act as a supplement to some of Illinois’ more veteran laws, which ban texting and driving, as well as the use of cell phones near school and construction areas. Still, according to law enforcement officials, teenagers, older folks, and all sorts of other people in between are still violating this new state law against texting and talking on the phone. Our car accident lawyers want to get the message out that distracted driving is a concern of every demographic and every region, young or old, city or the countryside.
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As a society, we have become accustomed to technological innovation, and we readily embrace the role that our various gadgets play in making our lives more convenient and enjoyable. However, when operating an automobile, the use of electronic devices such as cell phones, Mp3 players and GPS navigation systems can distract you from your primary task of driving, putting you and everyone else on the road in serious danger. Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing causes of car accidents in the United States. Nearly everyone has a cell phone or handheld device in this day and age, and far too many of these people appear to be more concerned with their electronics than the road.

Most of us understand that driving while distracted is frowned upon, and 43 of our 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands currently have laws banning their drivers from texting or using electronic devices behind the wheel. Yet, many possess only a surface-level understanding of these issues, with no concept of just how serious the risks of distraction actually are. The first step in combating distracted driving is educating drivers, both young and old, about the serious consequences of diverting attention away from the road. Our attorneys believe that we can curb this trend, but to ensure a high level of efficacy for future anti-distracted driving initiatives, the collecting of reliable statistics to educate drivers and passengers will be invaluable.
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There is no denying that distracted driving is one of the most dangerous hazards drivers and passengers face on roads and highways today. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that some 3,000 people lose their lives every year as a result of distraction-related automobile accidents-or crashes that involve a driver losing focus of their vehicle because of a manual, visual, or cognitive distraction. Despite the hazards posed by distraction, this is also one of the most preventable dangers we face, but with the increasing prevalence of hand held technology and on-board computer systems in our cars and trucks, curbing the number of injuries and fatalities will require all of us to do our own part.

While the approaches and strategies may vary when it comes to how to reduce the number of annual distraction-related fatalities and injuries, we all can agree that the best place to start is by educating the public. With that in mind, our lawyers have come up with a short list of things that everyone should know about distraction behind the wheel.
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The prevalence of distracted driving accidents is a problem of almost epidemic proportions in the United States, and with new and innovative technology coming out every month, remedying this epidemic may not be an easy task. Using cell phones, navigation systems, and Mp3 players behind the wheel increases your chances of being involved in a crash exponentially, and it is against the law in most of the fifty states. Many people believe that hands free devices and voice recognition software is the best way to avoid distraction on the road, but a new study conducted by AAA suggests that this just isn’t true.
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Last year, more than 3,300 individuals were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. Additionally, some 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents, equating to approximately 10% of all traffic injuries in the United States. Distracted driving includes any activity that has the potential to divert one’s attention away from the road when driving, and in our technology-focused generation, we often have dozens of things to distract us in our vehicles at any given time. Our personal injury lawyers have over 25 years of experience handling car accident tort claims and believe that the more we can educate our readers, the better you will be able to keep yourself safe behind the wheel. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the most common distractions, and why they are so dangerous.
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Distracted driving represents one of the single fastest growing causes of car accidents in the United States. Nearly all of us have a cell phone or handheld device in this day and age, and far too many of us pay more attention to our electronic technologies than we do the road. One need only examine the most recent studies to understand that cell phone use behind the wheel is a huge problem, but its quite possible that our statistics don’t even scratch the surface.
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Distracted driving is defined as any activity that has the potential to divert a person’s attention away from their primary task of driving. Some of the activities most commonly associated with distraction are things like texting, using cell phones or smartphones, eating, grooming, using navigation systems, adjusting the radio, and even talking to passengers. Whatever the distraction may be, one thing is certain, any activity that takes your focus away from the road as a driver is a not only a threat to you, it endangers passengers and bystanders as well.

Unfortunately, many people are still unaware of how dangerous distracted driving can be; according to Distraction.Gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, this is a problem that injures half a million people every year. Because of the difficulties inherent in identifying distracted-related causation factors, it’s hard to know for sure how many additional accidents might actually have roots in distracted driving. As car accident lawyers, we believe that the best way to prevent accidents in the first place is to get educated on the issues. Below are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about distracted driving.
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In most scenarios, the passage of 5 seconds isn’t all that significant. However, when you are operating a vehicle constructed with thousands of pounds worth of steel, aluminum and hard plastic, taking your eyes off of the road for even this short amount of time can make all the difference in the world. This number comes from studies conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which shown that the average text message takes a person’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds. To put that kind of inattention into perspective, that’s enough time for your car to cover the entire length of a football field when traveling at 55 miles per hour, and doing it all completely blind.

According to the official federal definition, distracted driving is any activity that has the potential to divert a driver’s attention away from their primary task of operating their vehicle. Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that nearly 10 people are killed and over 1,000 are injured every single day because of distraction related car accidents, and this number is likely still an underestimate. Our Chicago car accident lawyers have dealt with many distracted driving cases over the years, but due to the increasing prevalence of technology in and around automobiles, we believe it is important to raise awareness and educate as many people as possible to this hazard. Below is a short list that our legal team has put together, so our readers know the most common causes of distraction behind the wheel.
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The statistics are pretty clear, distracted driving is one of the most dangerous hazards on our roads and highways today. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at least 3,000 people lose their lives every year as a result of distraction-related automobile accidents-or crashes that involve a driver losing focus of their vehicle because of a manual, visual, or cognitive distraction. Despite the dangers posed by distraction, it is one of the most preventable hazards we face, but with the increasing prevalence of hand held technology and on-board computer systems in our cars and trucks, curbing the number of injuries and fatalities will require all of us to do our own part.

While approaches and strategies may vary when it comes to how to reduce the number of annual distraction-related fatalities and injuries, we all can agree that the best place to start is by educating the public. With that in mind, our lawyers have come up with a short list of things that everyone should know about distraction behind the wheel.
Continue reading ›

Distracted driving occurs any time a driver diverts his or her attention away from their primary task of driving. This can include adjusting a radio, surfing the web on your cell phone or tablet, using a navigation system, or even talking to passengers in your car; whatever the cause, distractions endanger drivers, passengers and bystanders. Cell phone use behind the wheel is perhaps the most well-known and dangerous distraction of all, and over the years, our society has developed the false notion that this is only a problem for teens and young drivers. However, law enforcement officials are making it clear, distracted driving isn’t a teenage problem, it’s everyone’s problem.

On January 1st 2014, a new state law was enacted to prohibit drivers from talking on a cell phone while driving without the use of a hands-free device. This policy was meant to act as a supplement to some of Illinois’ already present laws, which ban texting and driving, as well as the use of cell phones near school and construction areas. According to Springfield law enforcement officials, teenagers, older folks, and all sorts of people in between are violating this new state law against texting and talking on the phone, but they want to get the message out that distracted driving is a concern of every demographic and every region, young or old, city or the countryside.

Between 2008 and 2012, traffic information from the Illinois Tollway’s website tabs nearly 6,000 Illinois accidents as involving some sort of driver distraction, and many leading safety organizations believe distracted driving will only continue to rise if correctional policies and educational initiatives are not implemented. Since the new law took effect, Springfield police alone have issued 163 citations, a serious spike from the 61 citations issued by the municipality during all of last year under the lesser restrictions. With roughly seven months remaining in the year, you can bet there will be many more to come. (The State Journal-Register)

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