As Chicago personal injury law firm, the attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. have noticed that we have been handling more and more cases involving distracted defendants who were either texting or on the cell phone when he or she caused a collision involving a personal injury. Even more egregious, our Chicago personal injury law firm is currently handling two separate case where the defendant dropped their cell phone on the floor of their cars and were looking for the cell phone on the floor when they ran into our clients, causing serious injuries in both cases.
Although texting has been illegal for motorists in Illinois since January 1, 2010, surprisingly, a recent Chicago Tribune online survey indicated that 40% of Illinois Tollway customers were unaware of the law.
Distracted driving is no trivial matter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the following statistics on its web site:
•20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
•Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
•In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
•The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
•Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
•Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)