Illinois Accident Lawyer News: Distracted-Driving Roundup
Personal Injury - May 5, 2014
Are Hands-Free Devices Safe?
Which is worse: using a handheld cell phone or using a hands-free device while driving? Forbes reports that approximately 80 percent of Americans believe that hands-free phones are safe to use in the car. In reality, though, neither of these options are acceptable.
This question, which is part of a poll conducted by the National Safety Council, exposes the need for driver education, because using a hands-free device is not a responsible choice.
This is not a new development in the world of driver safety. In 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board advised that the government ban all use of cell phones while driving. Last year, AAA conducted a study that proved that hands-free devices drastically impair drivers’ reaction times.
Distracted driving is now a nationwide issue, but the approach to controlling it varies from state to state. For example, Illinois banned the use of handheld cell phones starting at the beginning of this year. Additionally, the ban extends to hands-free devices for bus drivers, novice drivers and anyone driving through a construction zone.
Although the laws in Illinois are among the strictest in the nation, experts contend that a ban on handheld phones but not on hands-free devices sends the wrong message to drivers.
All Eyes Are on Illinois to See How Strict Distracted-Driving Laws Will Affect Accident Rates
When the law took effect in January, local police departments had to decide how to start ticketing offenders. Many issued warnings for the first month to acclimate drivers to the new ban; others began to issue citations immediately.
According to NBC News, Chicago issued more than 900 tickets between January and March this year. In general, people cited for texting while driving pay small fines, unless they cause an accident.
Drivers who use cell phones when they cause an accident that leaves another person injured may face one year in jail and a $2,500.00 fine. If the accident caused a death, those penalties increase to three years in jail and a $25,000.00 fine. Furthermore, the victim could file a personal-injury lawsuit against the distracted driver.
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident with a distracted driver, call us to speak with an accident lawyer about personal injury lawsuits. At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we are dedicated to standing up for victims and helping them seek justice in civil courts.
If you would like to book a free consultation with a Chicago accident lawyer from our firm, please call 1-800-594-7433.
A Possible Distracted-Driving Accident Leaves 15 People in the Hospital
CBS News reports that an accident between an SUV and a city bus caused at least 20 injuries and hospitalized 15. Witnesses told police that the SUV drifted into the wrong lane. When the bus driver honked, the person operating the SUV seemed to become more attentive, but it was too late, and the two vehicles collided.
Although police are still investigating the accident, the SUV driver’s actions are consistent with distracted driving. Fortunately, no one died in the crash.
At Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, our mission is to protect the rights of distracted-driving victims and help them seek the compensation they deserve through personal injury lawsuits. We’re proud to have served Chicago residents for three generations.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with an accident lawyer from our offices, call us today at (800)-985-1819.