The National Transportation Safety Board has advised that all 50 states ban drivers’ cellphone use – including hands-free usage – in an effort to curb distracted driving accidents and fatalities. Unfortunately, even if a nationwide ban were enacted – which is unlikely – it probably would not prevent people from engaging in distracted driving behaviors.
The Chicago Tribune reports, “If you’re not frightened by what’s going on around you during your daily commute, you’re not paying attention. Drivers are texting while flying down the expressways, sending emails in stop-and-go traffic on Lake Shore Drive, carrying on animated conversations while changing lanes with one hand on the phone and the other holding a Starbucks. All of that is already illegal in Chicago and beyond. Have you noticed fewer people doing it? Neither have we.”
Many states, cities and towns already have bans on cell phone and smart phone usage while driving. Unfortunately, until the bans are enforced – and carry a hefty fine – most drivers will not voluntarily put down their cell phones in spite of staggering statistics supporting why they should.
Distracted Driving and Chicago Car Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reported via the Trib, 3,000 fatal accidents occurred in 2010 that were attributed (at least in part) to distracted driving. It is important to keep in mind that distracted driving does not just apply to talking or texting while driving. All of the following behaviors – and many more – are common “distracted driving” behaviors exhibited during a regular commute:
- Changing the radio or MP3 player
- Eating and/or drinking
- Applying makeup or engaging in other personal grooming
- Reaching for an item out of reach – on the floor, in the back seat, etc.
- Surfing the Internet, texting or talking via hand held cell phone.
- Talking on a cell phone – even with a hands free device
Oftentimes, commuters can be the worst offenders of distracted driving because they are in the car for so much time that they are tempted to complete other tasks they did not have time for prior to leaving the house – like eating, drinking and even applying makeup. Additionally, many feel that it is okay to read or surf the internet because they are in traffic – barely moving.
Distracted driving is distracted driving, regardless of how fast one is traveling – and it causes accidents. To avoid being involved in a Chicago car accident, keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times. If you have been injured in a Chicago car accident caused by distracted driving or other negligence, contact a Chicago car accident attorney right away.
DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Malman Law shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.