For a long time, people considered drunk driving the scourge of the roads. Intoxicated drivers can and do cause crashes that severely injure or even kill themselves, the passengers in their vehicle and other people on the road. Drunk driving will likely always be a danger, but it is no longer the only serious driving risk you have to worry about.
While you should certainly remain vigilant in watching for swerving or erratic driving that indicates impairment, you should also be on the lookout for anyone driving while distracted. Certain kinds of distraction, such as daydreaming or fantasizing, aren’t easy to detect. They would be even harder to prove in court.
However, many other forms of distraction, such as eating, texting on a phone or arguing with passengers are visible to other people. If you see anyone engaging in any secondary activity while driving, you should try to keep as much space as possible between your vehicle and theirs.
Illinois law prohibits using a mobile phone manually while driving
Distractions through screens are increasingly common. The first thing you need to understand is that anyone texting, emailing or posting to social media while driving actively breaks Illinois law by doing so.
For those 18 or younger, there is no legal way to use mobile devices while driving a car. Drivers who are 19 or older may use hands-free devices, such as Bluetooth headsets, to talk on the phone or dictate text messages. However, it is not legal for a driver of any age to manually text with their phone while in control of a motor vehicle.
Distracted driving is arguably a form of negligence or a wrongful act
Depending on whom you talk to, it is likely that people will agree with the assertion that texting while driving is a form of negligence. It involves ignoring your responsibility to yourself, your passengers and other drivers to maintain control of your vehicle at all times.
However, because Illinois law specifically prohibits the manual use of a mobile phone while driving, texting at the wheel could also be considered a wrongful act. Regardless of how you classify it, you likely have grounds to take legal action against a distracted driver who causes a crash that impacts you or your family.
Whether you suffer an injury, substantial property damage or the loss of a loved one, you can probably take action to hold a distracted driver legally and financially accountable for the consequences of their decision. The first step toward justice in the civil courts after a distracted crash is discussing your case with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney.