The Crisis of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is quickly becoming a major health crisis across the country, that includes Iowa and Illinois. The statistics are staggering.
- According to the Illinois State Police, more than 1 million crashes occur in North America annually resulting in serious injuries and death. These accidents result is an economic impact of over $40 billion per year, according to experts.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,450 people in 2016 in the U.S. alone.
Cell phones are a significant reason for distracted driving. Did you know that reading just one text message can take your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds? Did you also know that you can travel the distance of a football field in those 5 seconds when going 55 MPH?
With distracted driving accounting for 9 deaths every day, according to DMV.org, this is a serious and escalating problem. But distracted driving doesn’t just mean using your phone. What exactly is distracted driving? The short answer – anything that takes your attention away from the roadway.
- Your phone or other electronic devices
- Reaching for it, talking on it, reading text messages, using an app, dialing a number
- Changing music
- Checking a GPS/map
- Taking photos or videos
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming – putting on makeup, shaving
- Reading newspapers, books, magazines, etc.
- Watching distractions on the roadway such as accidents
- Talking to passengers
- Holding, petting, or playing with your pet
Rules of the Road for Cell Phones According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety
- An officer may stop any driver who is texting or using a portable electronic device unless the vehicle is completely stopped or off the roadway.
- All drivers under 18 years of age are prohibited from using electronic devices unless the vehicle is completely stopped or off the roadway.
- Drivers over 18 may use their phones to talk while driving and as a GPS.
- “A driver using a cellphone and causing the death of another person has shown evidence of reckless driving and could face a felony conviction that includes up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.”
Rules of the Road for Cell Phones According to the Illinois Secretary of State
- The use of handheld cell phones while operating a vehicle is prohibited.
- The use of hands-free or Bluetooth technology enabled cell phone is allowed for drivers age 19 and older. However, holding the cell phone while using hands-free or Bluetooth technology is prohibited.
- The use of headsets is prohibited.
- “A driver who is in a crash with a motor vehicle, bicyclist, pedestrian or any road user caused by distracted driving may face criminal penalties and incarceration.”
If you’re involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help you with a personal injury claim. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win.If you suffered an injury in Iowa or Illinois, contact VanDerGinst Law, P.C. at 800-797-5391. The law is tough and being injured is tougher. We’ll make it easier for you.