Earlier today, our Illinois semi truck accident attorneys read a report in the Chicago Sun Times detailing a semi truck collision that resulted in one fatality. Reports state that the driver of a passenger vehicle was using her cell phone while traveling along Illinois Route 53 when she collided with a semi truck. The women’s vehicle then proceeded to collide with a motor vehicle stopped in the left median of the northbound lane. The motorist of the stopped vehicle had pulled over to change a flat tire when he was struck by the woman’s car and subsequently pinned between vehicles. Although the accident occurred early last month, the motorist passed away today as a result of the injuries he sustained from the accident. The driver that caused the accident was cited for improper lane usage, driving on the shoulder, and texting while driving.
Cell phone use while driving has become an increasing epidemic that has caused a great number of motor vehicle accidents resulting in injuries and/or fatalities. The National Safety Council recently conducted a study reviewing accidents that occur as a direct result of cell phone use. The study found that over 28% of traffic accidents occur when drivers talk on their cell phone or send text messages. Of that percentage, 1.4 million accidents are attributed to cell phone conversations while 200,000 are blamed on text messaging. This type of distracted driving led to over 6,000 fatalities in 2008 alone.
Illinois has continued to provide a firm legislative stance against cell phone use during vehicle operation. Under current state law, driving in Illinois while using a cell phone is illegal for: learner’s permit holders, drivers younger than 19, school bus drivers, in addition to, all drivers operating in school or construction zones. Currently, Chicago is the only major city in the state of Illinois to outright ban cell phone use for motor vehicle drivers. In addition, the state also presently prohibits texting while driving for drivers of all ages.
Despite the legality in some areas to operate a cell phone while driving, our Chicago accident attorneys strongly encourage drivers to avoid cell phone use when operating their vehicles. By taking your eyes off the road for a few quick seconds could potentially result in tragic consequences for you or surrounding passenger vehicles. To prevent distracted driving accidents, drivers should always pull off the road and find a safe place to stop for any and all cell phone use.