If you drive around Illinois while using your cellphone, you are actually breaking the law. Most people don’t realize this, but using your phone while driving is considered distracted driving. Your mind and your eyes are not on the road, and both of your hands are not on the wheel. This often results in a vehicular accident.
Stats Regarding Phone Use and Driving
If you are using your phone in one hand while trying to drive with the other, you have a 400% increased risk of a car accident. Dropping your phone on the floor of your vehicle and trying to retrieve it while driving is even worse.
Because it only takes two to four seconds of not watching the road to cause an accident (depending on highway versus in-town street driving), your risks of getting into an accident while trying to retrieve the phone from the floor double. A whopping 58% of all crashes involving teen drivers are the direct result of phone use while driving.
Specifics of the Law
In Illinois, texting while driving is 100% illegal. Anyone caught texting while driving is cited immediately. The ONLY exception to this law is when a driver is older than 19 and is using hands-free devices to talk on the phone while driving, and ONLY when the device is attached to the dash or located in the dash itself. The phone in hands-free mode is only allowed when someone older than 19 requires the phone for work purposes and/or emergencies.
Other Odd Laws Regarding Cellphone Use and Driving
While it is unusual and unlikely for you to do any of these other odd and illegal things while driving, you should know you can be cited for these as well.
- It is illegal to take video of an accident or emergency scene as you drive by it.
- You cannot use a phone at all in school or construction zones, regardless of your age or hands-free devices.
- School bus drivers are not allowed to use cellphones at all, at any time whatsoever.
All of the above result in distracted driving accidents, which not only endanger you but everyone around you. Unless you have pulled over, come to a full stop, are not in heavy traffic, and are not in any of the forbidden situations previously mentioned, you may place a call (not a text, email, or browse!).
The laws in Illinois are very strict, and if a police officer sees you violating any of these laws, you will be cited. In the event you are in an accident with someone else who has violated these laws, you have the right to sue and pursue compensation.
Understanding What Your Rights are
You have the right to pursue compensation under the law for medical bills, long-term care, replacement of your vehicle, psychological trauma and treatment, and monetary amounts for any loss of life for you or those in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Discuss your case with a lawyer before pursuing it.