Have you ever been driving and glanced over at the car beside you to see the driver looking down at their phone instead of at the road? Or, if you are honest with yourself, have you ever been the driver who does a quick email check at a stoplight while driving? Technology has given us the benefit of connection but has also given us the consequence of constant distraction. Unfortunately, this distraction while driving can cause serious injury and serious legal consequences as well.
What is Distracted Driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is participating in any activity that takes concentration away from driving. Decades ago, distracted driving was not as common as it is today, with most distracted drivers using their phone while operating their vehicle. Distracted drivers text, email, make phone calls and even scroll social media when they should be paying attention to the road ahead.
Distracted driving is a serious hazard for all drivers and pedestrians on the road. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed due to distracted driving. In 2015, more than 391,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving.
A New Illinois Law
Distracted driving and the serious health consequences have left lawmakers struggling to find a way to discourage the behavior. For example, in Illinois, it is not legal to be talking on your cell phone while driving. However, Governor Rauner recently decided to up the ante when it comes to all types of phone-related distracted driving.
Previously, the Illinois law stated the first violation for being on your phone while driving was considered a non-moving violation. Now, the new law states that being on your phone while driving is considered a moving violation. If you acquire 3 tickets in a 12-month span, your driver’s license will be suspended. Rauner’s new law will go into effect in January 2019.
Distracted driving is a serious offense and you can now face serious consequences if caught driving while paying attention to your phone. It is important to begin to put your phone away while driving now so that you are ready for the new law, and so that you can remain safe.
Looking for more information about Illinois laws? Seeking a lawyer to assist you with legal questions? Give the team at Gandhi Selim Law a call today; we are always honored to work closely with our clients to educate and empower them.