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Articles Tagged with cell phone use while driving

Illinois law bars drivers from using a cell phone while driving in a school zone, construction zone, or within fifty feet of an emergency zone.  625 ILCS 5/12-610.1(e).  Drivers are also banned from composing, sending, or reading electronic communications while driving.  625 ILCS 5/12-610.2.  And, drivers under age 19 years who have an instruction permit or a graduated license may not use a cellphone while driving.  625 ILCS 5/12-610.1(b).

In 2011, 4103 traffic stops were made in Illinois for violations of the state’s cell phone laws.  There were 2818 stops for using cell phones in school and construction zones, which resulted in 1880 citations.  There were 1300 stops for texting while driving, which resulted in 839 citations.  This is a much lower number than the 7800 drivers who were stopped for violating the same laws in 2010.

Local Ordinances Related To Cell Phone Use

Seventy-six municipalities in Illinois have cellphone ordinances, but many of these merely adopt the state laws above.  Since 2005, Chicago has banned drivers from talking on cell phones without a hands free device.  Eleven other municipalities have enacted hand-held cellphone bans similar to Chicago’s ban.  Evanston is currently considering an ordinance that would ban the use of hand-held and hands-free cell phones, which would be the most restrictive ordinance in the nation.

Legislation To Eliminate Cell Phone Use While Driving

Now, the state is considering a statewide ban of driving while talking on hand-held cell phones.  The House passed the bill on March 8, 2012 and HB3972 is now in the Senate.  Under this bill, a violation would be a moving violation just as a speeding ticket.  If the bill passes, Illinois will be the tenth state to ban hand-held cell phones while driving.

Preventing Needless Car Accidents

Cellphone bans are in place to prevent distracted drivers and improve traffic safety.  However, it has been difficult to prove that a crash occurred because someone was using his or her cellphone.  And, research has suggested that hands-free devices do little to improve safety because the conversation is still distracting, even if the driver has two hands on the wheel.

A 2010 National Safety Council report estimated that at least 28% of traffic crashes (1.6 million crashes_ involve drivers talking on their cell phones or texting.  A 2009 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study reflected that 43% of people support total bans on cellphones.  Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 11% of all drivers are on their cell phones at any one time.  The educational value of these reports and statistics will hopefully reduce the number of distracted drivers on the road and improve traffic safety.

Injured In A Car Accident With A Driver On A Cell Phone?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has successfully prosecuted many car accidents that stem from cell phone use. Our attorneys have experience subpoenaing records from cell phone companies and other sources to help determine who was on the phone and when. Many times, the production of cell phone records has resulted in very favorable settlement for our clients shortly after the commencement of a lawsuit.  Don’t go after the insurance company alone. Contact our Chicago car accident attorneys today for a free consultation and maximize the value of your case!

A carload of teenagers is a common sight, both in real life and teen movies and TV shows. It embodies the teen spirit of new freedom and emerging into early adulthood. However, there is more and more concern over the risks of teenage drivers having more accidents when accompanied by other kids their age

New Study On Teen Drivers With Passengers

AAA released a study in May 2012 discussing the correlation between teen drivers and the presence of other teen passengers with fatality accidents. The study found that the risk of car accidents, especially fatalities, increased dramatically when teens that were 16 and 17 years of age had other teens in the car.

  • The chance of a fatality accident increased 44% when a teen driver had a passenger under 21 in the car, with no adults present.
  • The risk doubled when two or more passengers were in the car with the teen driver.
  • Three or more passengers under 21 quadrupled the risk for a fatality.
  • 40% of the teen (16 or 17 years of age) drivers deaths between 2000 and 2010 involved teen drivers with at least one other person 21 years or younger in the car.

However, the data from the study also showed a decrease of 62% in teen driving fatalities when an adult of 35 years or older was in the car.

Reducing Teen Driving Deaths

These statistics are not surprising to state licensing agencies. Starting in the 1990’s, many states began enacting laws to reduce the number of passengers young drivers were allowed. These Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws restrict young drivers from higher risk situations, including having young passengers, to allow them time to increase their driving skills. Most GDL laws include three stages: Learner, intermediate and full privilege stages. Each stage has fewer restrictions.

  • Cell Phones. 32 states have restrictions or bans for novice drivers using cell phones. Most states define a “novice” driver as under 18 years of age or any driver with a permit or provisional license.
  • Passengers. In 45 states and Washington D.C., there are restrictions for the passengers in the intermediate stage. Many states restrict new drivers to no passengers under 21 for the first 6 months to 1 year.
  • Nighttime driving. 48 states and Washington D.C. restrict nighttime driving for intermediate stage new drivers.

With more focus on teen driving distractions and the prevalence of GDL laws, it is hopeful that teen driving deaths can be reduced. Parents who enforce these restrictions and curtail teens riding together in groups can help give their teens time to become better drivers and reduce the risk of fatalities for these young drivers.