Officials Address Distractions to Help Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere

According to Cyber Drive Illinois, school bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone at the wheel in the State of Illinois. But all drivers in the City of Chicago are banned from using a hand held cell phone at the wheel though. All drivers in the state are prohibited from using text messaging at the wheel as well. These laws were enacted to help reduce the risks of distraction-related car accidents in Chicago. The regulation of distractions is important as we are well into the busy holiday travel season, when accidents are much more common.Our Illinois car accident attorneys understand that the Governors Highway Safety Association is also taking part in making our roadways safe. The association recently released a number of driving tips to help motorists get through the busy holiday travel season safely. In 2010, there were nearly 3,100 people who were killed in traffic accidents that involved a distracted driver. These types of car accidents are completely preventable. As our roadways get more and more crowded with vacationers, drivers are asked to curb all distractions and to place all of their attention on the roadways.

Tips for Managing Driver Distractions, from the Governors Highway Safety Association:

-Turn all electronic devices off. Either turn off your phone or put it on silent before starting the car.

-Alert callers. Set up a voice mail message that tells callers you’re driving and you’ll call them back as soon as you’ve stopped.

-If you have to make or answer a call, do so after you’ve pulled over into a safe area. Never use a phone behind the wheel. You’re putting yourself at serious risks for an accident if you do.

-Passengers can help. Have a passenger answer or make a call if it’s urgent.

-Stop the texts. Never text while driving. It’s dangerous and it’s against the law.

-Prepare yourself. Review maps and directions before setting out to avoid having to deal with GPS devices and paper road maps while driving. Ask a passenger to help you with directions while you keep your attention on the road.

-Pets get a seat belt. Our furry animals can serve as distractions, too. Make sure they’re properly secured before driving off.

-If you need to address a situation with a child passenger, pull over and then do so. Never do it while driving. That’s putting both of our lives in danger.

-Focus on the roadway. Driving is no time to eat, smoke, drink, read, etc.

The Truth about Distractions:

-Distractions significantly hinder a driver’s performance.

-Drivers drive while distracted nearly half of their time spent behind the wheel.

-Distractions contribute to about a quarter of all traffic collisions.

-Texting is likely more dangerous than taking on a cell phone.

-Recent studies conclude that hands-free devices are no safer than hand-held devices.

The use of a cell phone while driving increases your chance of getting into a crash by 400 percent, according to the Illinois State Police.

If you, a family member or a friend has been injured in a car crash, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

USDOT’s “OMG” PSAs to Curb Distraction-Related Teen Car Accidents in Chicago, Nation, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 13, 2011

NHTSA Releases New 2010 Data for Car Accidents in Illinois and Elsewhere, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2011

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