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Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on September 3rd, 2014,
by Zane Cagle

Over 1,000 Tickets for Cell Phone Use While Driving

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Zane Cagle

no texting and drivingSince January 2014, the Elgin, Illinois police have written more than 1,000 tickets to people using their cellphones while driving.

The Illinois state law that ban drivers from using hand held devices has impacted all drivers.  Numerous safety campaigns in Illinois such as “Drive Now. Text Later” andIt Can Wait”  have promoted the safety message of the dangers of using hand held devices while driving. Even though some people think they are “good at texting and driving”.

Think about the contradiction—I’m good at distracted driving……….doesn’t really make much sense?

Who is using their cell phones while driving?

“Absolutely everyone”, said Lt Jeff Adam of the Elgin police department. Adams is head of the police department’s traffic and adjudication division and said that 510 of those tickets were warning tickets and 465 were full-fledged tickets. Including another 10 warning tickets and 64 tickets issued to those using their phones in construction or school zones in the last year.

Adams further said that the offenders come from all demographics. He also indicated that few argue the fact when approached for their infraction.   Tickets start around $75 and climb to $150 on subsequent violations. Four of such infractions can lead to a suspended license, although dialing 911 to report emergencies while driving is still allowed.

The National Safety Council estimated of 2011 that “at least 23 percent of all traffic crashes- or at least 1.3 million crashes- involve cell phones for conversations and at least 100.000 additional crashes can be related to drivers who are texting”. So, the philosophy of “everyone is doing it” is both immature (rings of a child’s excuse, right?) and incorrect.

Texting while driving was made illegal in Illinois in 2013 as was talking with your phone to your ear while driving in school and construction zones.

Fact- Texting and Driving is Dangerous

If you have driven down the street in the last few years, you have observed someone texting and trying to drive. I say “trying to drive” because if someone is texting, they are usually not driving very well. Maybe you have unexpectedly “shared” a lane with this distracted driver or you may have tried to avoid sharing the same traveling space with this driver when they have veered across lanes. Veering or weaving across lanes is a common characteristic of folks that text while driving. Texting while driving results in distraction and distracted driving is the number one cause of car crashes.  Whether you are distracted by the scenery, your phone, other hand held device or just not paying attention—it is distraction.

If you have a drivers’ license, you have made a social commitment to follow the rules of the road which includes being attentive.  When you chose to climb behind the wheel, you have an obligation to other drivers to do so safely. Can you be attentive all of the time? I believe the answer to this question is “yes”, but not if you are engaged in internet searches and texting while driving.   Just because you have been texting and driving doesn’t mean that you are good at it! In fact, in many surveys the majority of people believe they are really good at texting and driving.  As a car accident attorney, I will tell you those statistics do not add up. Texting and attentive driving do not go together.

Car crashes can happen easily enough due to driver error by not paying attention to a whole multitude of things including daydreaming, trying to beat a light or talking with other passengers, so refraining from any activity that forces you to look away from the road ie: reading a text, seems like it would be dangerous.  We don’t have to be researchers to realize that texting and driving is dangerous.

Remaining focused on driving in our multi-tasking world may seem like a huge inconvenience to you. However, recovering from a car crash because of texting is far more inconvenient.  If you have been a car crash victim through no fault of your own, you may need legal representation.   The Illinois ban was instituted to decrease the number of crashes resulting in injury and death. Each person has to do their part and put their phone down while driving no matter what state you are traveling. At The Cagle Law Firm, we understand the complexities often involved in car crashes and the impact distracted driving has on the number of injuries and deaths.

Our attorneys are available seven days a week for free consultations at (314) 276-1681.