Illinois residents might have inadvertently driven while distracted, unaware of the risk this behavior involves. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any behavior that takes the driver’s attention away from the road, including using a cellphone to talk or type, eating while driving or playing with the various entertainment systems in the vehicle.
The most notable distracted driving behavior is the use of cellphones; the NHTSA estimates that at any given daylight time, 660,000 drivers are engaging in cellphone usage while driving with the largest group doing this being adolescents. Distracted driving is so prevalent that in 2015, it resulted in 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in car accidents involving distracted drivers. The dangers lie at the moment when a driver takes their eyes off the road as 5 seconds of looking away from the road while driving at 55 mph translates into driving the length of a football field without looking.
Due to the high number of injuries and deaths resulting from distracted driving, the NHTSA actively campaigns to prevent the behavior by reminding drivers that many states now have laws against many of the distracted driving behaviors. It also aims to educate the public about distracted driving by encouraging teens to speak to their peers about the dangers, by reminding parents that they need to serve as examples, by encouraging families to sign the Students Against Destructive Decisions pledge to drive without distractions and by asking educators to speak about the issue with their students.
In cases where someone has been a victim of distracted driving, a personal injury claim might be filed. If a victim is considering this course of action, they might contact a personal injury lawyer throughout the process.