The term ‘distracted driving’ simply means doing something else that takes your attention away from driving, whether it’s changing the radio station, talking to your kids, eating or putting on makeup. Distracted driving accidents are a serious and ongoing problem, especially in recent years with the explosion of mobile phones and the phenomenon of texting while driving.
Distracted Driving Accidents Are Common
Accidents related to a distracted driver are a common cause of death and injury in the U.S. Every day approximately 8 people are killed and 1,160 injured in vehicle crashes that involved a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The three types of distracted driving include:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: letting your mind wander from driving
Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three functions—taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel and thinking about the message rather than driving.
Illinois Motor Vehicle Crash Facts and Statistics
The state of Illinois has more than 140,000 miles of roads and streets. In 2012, there were a total of 274,111 crashes involving motor vehicles and a total of 956 motor vehicle crash-related fatalities across the state. Many of these accidents were undoubtedly related to distracted driving.
Preventing Distracted Driving
Many states, including Illinois, have enacted laws banning activities like texting while driving. Illinois has gone further, banning the use of all hand-held devices while driving. Hands-free technology such as Bluetooth and headsets are still permitted. Cell phone use is not permitted while driving in school zones, highway construction zones and for novice drivers.
To prevent becoming distracted while driving, do the following:
- Pull over to a safe place to talk on the phone, send a text message or send an email.
- Know how your climate controls, sound systems, and other devices work. Never take your eyes off the road to adjust these things. If you must make adjustments, do so by touch.
- Never adjust your seat while driving. Rather pull over to a safe place if you need to adjust your seat height or distance from the pedals.
- Avoid eating, drinking and smoking while driving. Never groom, apply makeup or try to read or write while driving.
- Pull over for children. If your kids are arguing, crying or hungry, pull over to tend to their needs. Interaction with kids is a leading cause of distraction.
If You’ve Been Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident
If you were in an accident involving distracted driving, the expert attorneys at Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. can help. Our personal injury lawyers will explain your legal options and remedies if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.