Illinois aggressive in fighting distracted driving
Nearly every week, there are news stories reminding motorists about the dangers of distracted driving. Countless studies have been released that show that many drivers are still texting or talking on a handheld cellphone while they are behind the wheel, even though they know that this increases the risk that they will be involved in a motor vehicle accident.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the state has seen nearly 6,000 distracted driving accidents from 2008 to 2012. Officials believe that this number is seriously underreported, as these numbers are compiled from police reports on the accidents. In many instances, evidence of distraction is difficult to determine, and drivers will not generally reveal this information on their own.
On January 1st, new distracted driving laws will go into effect in Illinois. Drivers will not be allowed to use a handheld cellphone – to place phone calls or to text – while their vehicles are in operation. These laws will substantially increase the fines that motorists caught using the devices will receive.
It is hoped that these changes will help prevent some of these accidents from happening on the state’s roadways. This includes those crashes caused by drivers who may be looking at their phones while they are at a stoplight. These motorists could suddenly enter intersections at unexpected times, which may lead to collisions with other drivers.
Many traffic signals, especially those at busy intersections, are controlled by the weight of the vehicles present. If the first driver in line does not move when the light changes, it could cause the lights to change before all vehicles have had a chance to proceed. This can lead to traffic backups and impatient drivers, both of which increase the potential that an accident may occur.
Law enforcement agencies across the state are planning several safety campaigns that will run for the rest of the year, looking for those drivers who may be violating the existing distracted driving rules. Victims injured in distracted driving accidents may be able to recover compensation from those responsible for causing the crashes. If you have been injured, be sure that you seek treatment as soon as possible. You should also contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help you protect your potential claims.
An attorney will be able to prepare your case for trial so that you are ready should the insurance companies fail to make you a fair offer. It is important that you understand the amount of treatment, as well as the costs connected to this care, that will be necessary for you to make a complete recovery. You do not want to be unable to collect these damages due to settling your claim too soon.