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Why Texting While Driving Is So Dangerous in Illinois

Posted on in Motor Vehicle Collisions

Chicago personal injury attorneyDistracted driving is a major threat to road safety and there is no bigger distraction than cell phones. Far too many people are texting behind the wheel of a vehicle and the results can be disastrous. At Livas Law Firm, a Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we represent motorists who have been injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

Illinois has tried to address the dangers of distracted driving by making it illegal to text while driving. Any motorist convicted could have their license suspended and face various other penalties. Still, on any given day, countless motorists are driving with one hand on the wheel and the other hand clutching a cell phone. Below, our personal injury lawyers identify why the act of texting and driving is so risky.

Texting Delays Brake Onset

When drivers text, they have their eyes on their cell phones — not on the road. Consequently, they will not see anything that may be in their way, such as a pedestrian crossing the street or another vehicle stopped at an intersection. It is not surprising that brake onset is delayed while a person is sending or reading a text message.

One study found that reaction times increased by about 30 percent while texting, compared to 9 percent when speaking on the phone. Another study by Car and Driver found that texting slowed reaction times even more than being legally intoxicated, proving the imminent danger this habit can pose on the driver and others on the road.

Drifting Across Lanes Increases

When a person is not looking at the road, his or her chance of drifting into oncoming traffic increases significantly. Again, this is not surprising. Try driving with your eyes closed — the odds are low that you will be able to stay in your lane for any length of time. A person reading or composing a text could easily get into a head-on collision by inadvertently drifting between lanes.

Driving with One Hand Is Risky

It is harder to take sudden, defensive action when a person is driving with only one hand on the wheel. For example, it is more challenging to turn the wheel a significant amount with one hand. Someone who is texting is using one hand to hold a phone, taking one hand away from the wheel and making it difficult to quickly pull back into his or her lane.

Attention Is Divided

A person’s ability to process information is slowed when he or she is focused on reading something or composing a message. This is known as “attention blindness.” Thus, even if a driver sees danger ahead, he or she may not mentally process the situation. This phenomenon adds to delayed reaction times and inattention to road signs or signals.

Crashes Increase Dramatically

Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that accidents increase when people text and drive. One study found a four-fold increase in car accidents due to texting. Another revealed that texting while driving was six times as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.

Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney 

Thousands of people die on Illinois roads each year and texting contributes to a good percentage of those deaths, in addition to countless injuries. Illinois was correct to ban the practice, but that does not mean that distracted driving accidents will not continue to occur. If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer at Livas Law today at 312-804-6102. Our consultations are free.






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