With the rise of personal electronic devices, entertainment systems, and smartphones, distracted driving accidents have increased significantly throughout the last decade. In Illinois, legislators have recently pushed for stricter laws to limit driving distractions, as well as campaigns to educate drivers about new restrictions. For example, in 2014, Illinois implemented a statewide ban on the use of handheld cellphones while driving. It also specifically prohibits texting and driving, a common issue for inexperienced, teenage drivers.
Distracted driving contributes to over a million car accidents and thousands of fatal crashes per year. Consequently, lawmakers are continuously making revisions to help reduce the accident rate. Most recently, State Representative Robert Martwick has advocated for prison term sentences for distracted drivers who cause fatalities. House Bill 3487 would elevate the offense from a Class 4 to a Class 2 Felony.
Current Illinois Distracted Driving Laws
As an Illinois driver, you should be aware of existing traffic laws, and stay up-to-date on potential changes. According to 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, current restrictions on distracted driving include:
It is illegal to use any and all handheld electronic devices while driving.
It is illegal to compose, send, or read an electronic message while driving.
All cellphone use is prohibited while driving in a school zone or highway construction zone.
All cellphone use is prohibited for novice drivers under 19 years of age.
The exceptions are:
You are allowed to use hands-free technology such as Bluetooth, headset, or voice activation.
You are allowed to text and drive for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency and communicating with emergency personnel.
You are allowed to use electronic communication devices while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
You are allowed to use electronic communication devices while normal traffic is being obstructed, and your transmission is in neutral or park.
Because Illinois’ distracted driving laws are considered ‘primary laws,’ a police officer can pull you over and issue a citation if he witnesses an offense. Violators can face hefty fines, and more severe consequences in the event of a car accident.
When The Chicago Auto Accident Injury Attorneys from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Can Help
Unfortunately, even with stricter laws in place, distracted driving continues to cause tragic accidents. If you or someone you love suffered a car accident injury due to a distracted driver, you may be looking to explore your legal options. The experienced Chicago auto accident injury attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help guide you through the Illinois legal process, and offer the support that you need to fully recover.
We understand that a serious car accident can negatively impact your health, family situation, and finances. That’s why, at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our Chicago auto accident injury attorneys strive to fight for the maximum compensation that every victim deserves. In the past, our clients have received compensation for accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, car repair bills, and other damages. Find out more about how we can help you and your family by scheduling a free, one-on-one session with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney today when you call (312) 236-2900.