Distracted Driving in Illinois: Facts for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

distracted driving in Illinois - Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Illinois has been one of the most proactive states when it comes to distracted driving prevention. It outlawed texting and driving in 2010 and the use of “electronic communication devices” while driving in 2012. Additionally, it elevated these offenses to moving violations in 2019. Despite having some of the most aggressive laws in the nation, distracted driving in Illinois is still a significant cause of Chicago car accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that distracted driving car crash fatalities have reached a 16-year high, while the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) claims that law enforcement issued thousands of distracted driving citations in 2021. To help you and the drivers in your family understand the dangers of distracted driving in Illinois and avoid accidents, the Chicago injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe offer the following guide.

Types of Distracted Driving

There are three major types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. Below is a description of each, followed by ways to avoid them.

Cognitive Distractions

Cognitive distractions are anything that takes your mind off of driving, even if your eyes are on the road and your hands are on the wheel. This type of distraction can be caused by a variety of factors, including daydreaming, fatigue, or engaging in deep thought about issues unrelated to the road. Talking to passengers or using a hands-free phone can also lead to cognitive distractions, as your attention is divided between the conversation and the act of driving.

The dangers of cognitive distractions should not be underestimated, as they impair your ability to react quickly and appropriately to changes in road conditions or traffic situations. To combat cognitive distractions, make sure that you’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel and avoid engaging in complex mental tasks while driving. It is also advisable to limit conversations with passengers and to use hands-free devices only when absolutely necessary.

Visual Distractions

Visual distractions are ones that cause you to take your eyes off of the road, even for a brief moment. Common visual distractions include looking at a cell phone, adjusting the car’s infotainment system, checking a GPS device, or gazing at something outside the vehicle, such as a billboard or a scenic view. These distractions prevent you from properly monitoring the road, traffic signals, and other vehicles, increasing the likelihood of a crash.

To minimize visual distractions, you should refrain from using electronic devices while driving and set your phone or GPS device before starting their trip. It is also important to avoid looking at billboards or other roadside attractions for extended periods. If you need to adjust your car’s settings or check directions, then pull over to a safe location before doing so.

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Manual Distractions

Manual distractions are ones that cause you to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel. Some examples of manual distractions include eating, drinking, smoking, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, or reaching for an object in the vehicle. When your hands are not on the steering wheel, you have less control over the vehicle and your ability to respond to unexpected events or changes in road conditions is diminished.

To avoid manual distractions, make as many preparations for your trip as possible before getting behind the wheel. This includes adjusting your vehicle’s settings, securing loose objects, and preparing snacks or drinks if needed. Never apply makeup or shave while driving. If you must perform a manual task while driving, then pull over and complete the task so you don’t compromise control of the vehicle.

Contact an Illinois Car Accident Lawyer

The staff at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys hopes that this blog has given you a better understanding of the causes of distracted driving in Illinois. Please share this guide with your family and friends as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Should you get injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver then contact our Illinois injury lawyers for immediate assistance.

You can reach the Illinois car crash attorneys at Lerner and Rowe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 844-977-1900. You can also connect with us online by filling out this convenient form or connecting with one of our LiveChat agents. Our lawyers have more than 240 years of combined experience winning maximum compensation for injury victims. In fact, our attorneys have won more than $1-billion in the last 4 years for clients nationwide. Reach out to us today and begin your free, no obligation consultation.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.