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Chicago Texting and Driving Accident Attorney

Have you been in a car accident due to another driver texting behind the wheel? Did you know that in Illinois, driving while being on any handheld device can get you a ticket? Not only can a driver be fined for driving while texting, but it’s also very dangerous for all other drivers around them when they’re not paying complete attention to their vehicle and the road. A Chicago texting and driving accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices is ready to assist you in your case.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is a big problem that caused approximately 3,522 deaths on United States roads in 2021. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 5.5% of drivers in the U.S. who were involved in fatal car accidents were distracted behind the wheel, and distracted drivers caused 14% of all fatal car accidents in 2021.

NHTSA defines distracted driving as a specific type of inattention that occurs when a driver’s attention is diverted from driving to some other task. There are three types of distracted driving:

  • Visual: The driver looks away from the roadway at something else (both inside and outside the vehicle)
  • Manual: The driver takes their hand off the steering wheel to grab something else (phone, food, radio knob, etc.)
  • Cognitive: The driver is thinking about something other than driving (school, work, relationships, phones, etc.)

Texting is considered the most dangerous type of distracted driving due to the combination of the visual, manual, and cognitive distractions mentioned above. But watching videos, scrolling social media, answering phone calls, or even something as simple as changing the radio station or taking a sip of water can all be just as distracting when you’re behind the wheel. It’s best to wait until your car is in park in a safe location before looking at your phone for any reason.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Texting and driving is six times more likely to cause a car accident than driving under the influence of alcohol. Using a cell phone in any capacity while driving, even hands-free, delays a driver’s reaction time as much as being at the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of .08%.

Dangerous and distracting phone usage while driving isn’t limited to texting but also includes:

  • Watching videos
  • Checking social media
  • Answering or making phone calls
  • Taking pictures or videos
  • Reading and sending emails
  • Using your phone’s GPS

Using the GPS on our phones while driving is actually more dangerous than texting as it takes drivers forty seconds on average to complete a navigation programming task and another thirteen seconds for the brain to refocus on driving.

If you were injured in a car accident in Chicago and believe that a distracted or texting driver is to blame, please reach out to our law office for a completely free case evaluation.

Who Is Most Likely To Be Texting While Driving

According to 2021 data from the National Safety Council (NSC), drivers aged 16 to 24 have the highest use of handheld devices usage. This means that new drivers, fresh on the road with little driving experience, are the most likely to be distracted with their cell phones and other devices. Female drivers have consistently used their phones more while driving than male drivers.

The overall percentage of drivers visibly manipulating handheld devices while driving increased in 2021, with an 80% increase in drivers aged 16 to 24 since 2012. And, according to NHTSA, there were 296 car accident fatalities in 2021 due to distracted teenage (ages 15 to 19) drivers, and teens accounted for 47% of those killed in distraction-related crashes where another teen was the distracted driver.

State Laws Prohibiting Phone Usage While Driving

As of April 2023, nearly every state in the United States has some kind of ban on cell phone usage while driving. Illinois has a statewide ban on all handheld device usage while driving, including a specific young driver cell phone ban, prohibiting all drivers younger than 19 from using a cell phone at any time for any reason, even hands-free or via Bluetooth.

The only time Illinois law allows for any driver to use a cell phone while not hands-free is:

  • To report an emergency situation
  • While parked on the shoulder of a roadway
  • While stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in park or neutral

The Illinois State Police reminds drivers that if they are in a crash due to distracted driving, the distracted driver may face criminal penalties or incarceration.

Types of Injuries Caused by Texting Drivers

People text and drive all the time, even in states where bans are in effect. While you may think that one quick text isn’t a problem, that one quick text can cause enough of a distraction to severely injure yourself and other people. Taking your eyes off the road for only five seconds increases your chance of an accident by 400%.

Here are some types of injuries that can be caused by a distracted driving car accident:

  • Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
  • Seat belt injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Airbag-related injuries
  • Wrist injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Tinnitus or hearing loss
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Partial or complete paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)

Driver Liability for Texting and Driving Crashes

Illinois is not a no-fault state. Instead, we are an at-fault state with comparative negligence laws, meaning that if a driver is more than 50% at fault for a car accident, then they’re responsible for covering the other driver’s damages.

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State (ILSOS), drivers in the state of Illinois are required by law to report their involvement in a crash to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) within 10 days of the accident occurring. Failure to report your involvement in a car accident, especially if you are probably liable (at least 50% at fault) or uninsured, can result in fines or your driver’s license being revoked.

Speak With a Chicago Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer in a No-Cost Consultation

At Thomas Law Offices, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries and damages you’ve suffered in a car accident due to a texting driver. You can pursue a legal course of action against the person who hit you, especially if that driver was cited for texting as the cause of the accident, as handheld phone usage while driving is illegal in the state of Illinois.

Our team of texting and driving car accident attorneys will fight for you in Chicago and the rest of Illinois. The sooner you reach out to our office, the better chance you have of receiving fair compensation. Schedule your free consultation today.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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