February 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Many people rely on their cars everyday to get them to all of the places they need to go. Driving carries certain risks, not the least of which is the chance that another driver is not giving full attention to driving. As people try to multi-task, the incidents of distracted driving have risen -- as have the number of car accidents attributable to distracted driving. Three new Illinois laws target distracted driving in the hope of reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents in the state.
Three new laws dealing with distracted driving
went into effect in Illinois on January 1, 2013. The first law prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from using cell phones and sending text messages while driving. The Illinois Department of Transportation clarified that commercial vehicles are those weighing over 26,001 pounds, those designed to carry 16 or more passengers, or those that carry hazardous materials. Prior to the change, commercial drivers could not send text messages but could use cell phones. With the change, Illinois law is now in accord with the federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
The second law prohibits drivers from using hand-held cell phones in all work zones. Drivers may use cell phones with headset or phones with single-button operation. Before the law changed, it only prohibited drivers from using hand-held phones in work zones when the work zone speed limit was lower than the posted speed limit.
The third law clarifies an existing statue about what drivers should do after an accident that results in only damage to vehicles
. The statute regarding stops after motor vehicle accidents used to state "Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary." The statute now indicates that moving the vehicles to a safe location off the highway, such as an exit ramp, frontage road or cross-street will not be considered leaving the scene of an accident. The law should help prevent other drivers from being distracted by accidents on roadsides.
Dangers of distracted driving
The dangers of distracted driving are well-supported by research. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 3,331 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2011 alone, up from 3,267 in 2010. Distracted driving accidents were also responsible for about 387,000 injuries in 2011.
According to research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, drivers who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident. A Monash University study revealed that drivers who use hand-held devices while driving are four times more likely to be involved in accidents resulting in injuries.
Speak with an attorney
Despite all the precautions a driver takes when behind the wheel, he or she cannot control the behavior of other drivers. When drivers violate distracted driving statutes, they increase the likelihood of auto accidents. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak with a skilled personal injury attorney with a strong record of success in handling motor vehicle accident cases.
Article provided by Clancy Law
Visit us at www.clancylaw.com---
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