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Rolling Meadows car accident lawyersApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Illinois State Police Department and the Illinois Department of Transportation have partnered with local law enforcement agencies across the state in an effort to curb cell phone use behind the wheel. While most people are aware that texting and driving is illegal, few realize just how severe an issue distracted driving has become. According to a recent study, distracted driving is a factor in over a million auto collisions each year. Using a cell phone while driving increases the chances of a crash by an astounding 400 percent.

Cell Phone Use While Driving is Dangerous and Unlawful

Although many drivers think nothing of reading or sending a message while driving, this practice leads to thousands of injury-causing and deadly car accidents every year. Some drivers justify cell phone use behind the wheel because they are only looking down at their cell phone for a few seconds at a time. However, a driver traveling at 55 mph who looks down for as few as five seconds travels over 400 feet without looking at the road. If a vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist appears in the driver’s path, he or she may not have enough time to avoid a collision.

Illinois has outlawed the use of hand-held phones and other portable electronic devices while driving. This includes texting and driving as well as video chatting, reading messages, using online maps, checking social media, or watching videos while driving. Hands-free cell phone use is permitted for drivers over the age of 18, however, drivers are encouraged to pull over if they need to make a call. A violation of Illinois’s texting and driving law that results in a serious injury is a Class A misdemeanor offense. Cell phone use while driving that causes another person’s death is a Class 4 felony.

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Arlington Heights personal injury attorneysAlthough it may seem like second nature to experienced drivers, driving a vehicle takes a great deal of attentiveness and concentration. When a driver is distracted by his or her cellphone, GPS system, stereo, or even other vehicle occupants, the driver can make critical errors. Distracted driving is estimated to cause over 1,000 car accident injuries and approximately nine deaths every day in the U.S. In fact, some experts say that distracted driving has become an even greater danger than drunk driving.  If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation.

Proving a Distracted Driver’s Negligence

Through a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for the costs incurred by your accident. You may receive compensation for your medical bills, vehicle damage, future and ongoing medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, and reduced earning capacity. If your loved one was killed in a distracted driving accident, you could be compensated for the loss of his or her financial support and household services, funeral and burial expenses, and more. However, to win a personal injury claim and recover compensation, you will need to prove that the driver’s negligence led to your injuries or your loved one’s death. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence that demonstrates the driver’s negligence. Police reports, photo and video evidence, data from the vehicles’ event data recorders, accident reconstruction, and eyewitness testimony may all be used to prove the driver’s fault.

Texting and Driving is Against the Law in Illinois

When a driver looks down at his or her cellphone or other electronic device, he or she cannot possibly pay attention to the road simultaneously. Texting and driving or using other smartphone applications while driving has led to countless car accidents in Illinois and across the U.S. Because of the danger it poses, Illinois has established laws prohibiting the use of hand-held phones and other electronic devices while driving. If your accident was caused by a someone texting and driving, it is possible that the driver will be considered “negligent per se.” This is a legal doctrine that makes an action automatically considered to be negligent because it is in violation of the law.

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Arlington Heights personal injury attorney car accident

Since cell phones became a part of our daily lives, distracted driving car accidents have skyrocketed. The numerous alerts, phone calls, and social media posts that we can scroll through and respond to have led many drivers to prioritize their notifications over their safety on the road. Many drivers may be willing to place themselves at risk to quickly respond to a text or answer a call, but they often forget that momentarily looking away from the road places other motorists at risk of injuries as well. For this reason, Illinois law enforcement has stiffened the penalties tied to distracted driving and one county has set up a special program to tackle this offense.

What Is Considered Distracted Driving?

There are three areas in which one can get distracted while driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. When you take your eyes off the road to grab something in your purse or send a quick text response, you are visually distracted. Manual distractions include anything that takes one or more hands off the steering wheel to perform an action, such as picking up a cup of coffee or your cell phone. Cognitive distractions occur when you are not paying attention to the road or what is going on around you. This may cause you to disregard the speed limit or fail to notice a car stopped right in front of you. Illinois stiffened its distracted driving penalties in 2019 by banning the use of handheld devices and labeling the penalty as a moving violation. These moving violations go on your record and just three in one year can lead to your driver’s license being suspended. This Illinois law prohibits the following:

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Schaumburg personal injury attorney truck accident

With I-90 and I-290 passing through northwestern Cook County, Illinois motorists share the road with a large number of semi-trucks and are at risk of falling victim to the accidents they often cause. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports over 10,000 accidents involving large trucks each year, with a troubling 5.2 percent increase in fatalities caused by semi-truck accidents from 2017 to 2018. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be facing not only severe injuries and costly medical expenses, but also the challenge of identifying all liable parties in order to seek compensation.

Possible Parties at Fault in a Truck Accident

Any accident caused by the negligence of another party can result in compensation for injury victims, but depending on the nature and causes of a truck accident, a number of parties may share in the liability. Some of the most frequently at-fault parties include:

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Schaumburg personal injury attorney pedestrian accident

Pedestrians are severely injured too frequently on Illinois roadways. While this typically occurs in a city setting, stay-at-home orders have made many people more inclined to escape the confines of their home, even for a little while, by going for a walk around the block. As Illinois moves into its fourth stage of reopening, there will be many more cars on the road, which can pose a greater risk to runners, walkers, and bikers. Restaurants and stores may be reopening, but many companies still have their employees working remotely to avoid further spread of COVID-19. With an increase in cars and a consistent stream of pedestrian traffic, it is important to stay vigilant while walking to avoid suffering from life-altering injuries as a result of a serious car accident. Even if you follow the below safety tips, a reckless driver may be responsible for your pedestrian accident. 

Safety First

The following tips are compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center to keep you safe while exercising:

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