Illinois is one of several states to have implemented strict distracted driving laws. However, whereas several states merely ban texting while driving, Illinois bans the use of all handheld cellphones, texting, or other electronic communications while operating a motor vehicle. Bluetooth devices are allowed, but only for individuals 19 years or older. The use of headsets is banned entirely.
Illinois State Laws Reflect the Most Current Research
Some might think that the state’s laws are over the top, but the truth is that they were designed with the latest research in mind. According to studies, the use of a cell phone while driving increases a person’s odds of getting into a crash by 400%. Texting while driving makes a person 23 times more likely to crash. These studies indicate that it is not necessarily distracted hands that cause crashes, but distracted minds. According to the research, the use of a cellular device while driving can pose a serious cognitive distraction and degrade driver performance exponentially. Some studies equate talking on a cell phone while driving to talking on a cell phone while reading a book – difficult if not impossible to do.
Yet, People Continue to Put Themselves and Others at Risk
Despite the growing bodies of evidence that show just how dangerous cell phone use while driving actually is, drivers continue to disobey the law and take calls, send texts, and even use social media while behind the wheel. When these drivers cause accidents, they should and can be held accountable.
Proving that the other driver was using a cell phone right before the accident that caused your injuries can be difficult, but with the help of a skilled Illinois car accident lawyer, you can determine liability and settle your claim for a fair amount.
The best way to prove that the other driver broke the law is by subpoenaing his or her phone records. Though most state and federal laws govern the accessibility and privacy of cell phone statements, many courts grant leniency in distracted driving cases. If your attorney is able to get access to the other driver’s cell phone statements, it can provide the clear and convincing evidence you need to prove that the other driver was texting or talking at the time of the incident.
If your lawyer is unable to subpoena the phone records, he or she may turn to the next best thing – police records and witness statements. The at-fault driver may have admitted to using his or her cell phone when giving a statement to the police, which the attending officer should have noted in the report. If police reports reveal nothing, eye-witness statements might, which is why it is essential to gather the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the event.
Retain the Help of an Experienced Distracted Driving Lawyer
If you were involved in a car accident caused by a driver who was using his or her cell phone at the time of the incident, contact an experienced lawyer at Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, LTD., right away. We can work to pinpoint fault and demonstrate that the driver who caused the crash was engaged in distracted driving or another unsafe behavior at the time of the accident. Call us now to schedule your free consultation.