The Crisis of Distracted Driving

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.

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, 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.
  • Daydreaming
  • 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.