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McHenry County Personal Injury Attorneys

As most motorists know, using a cell phone while driving is not considered safe. This is why many states, including Illinois, have laws in place that prohibit text messaging and the use of a phone without a hands-free device for drivers. The ban on cell phone use while driving extends to the use of smartphone apps like Facebook and Snapchat, which require users to engage with the app using both their eyes and their hands.

In particular, Snapchat has been the subject of scrutiny by Illinois personal injury lawyers and safety activists because of its "speed filter" feature. The feature allows users to display the speed at which they are moving when they snap their photos. Using Snapchat requires intense concentration, which takes drivers' eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel. One recent case involving Snapchat's speed filter took place in Georgia, where an injured victim alleged that he was hit by a driver who was driving more than 100 miles per hour, recording her recorded speed with the apps' speed filter feature. Any time a driver's attention is taken off the road, a car accident can result. Often, car accidents result in serious injuries and death.

Phone-Related Car Accident Statistics

In 2011, nearly a quarter of car accidents in the United States involved cell phone use in some capacity. Every year, 330,000 people are injured in these accidents. A 2006 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association found that the leading factor in 80 percent of car crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes is driver inattention three seconds before the collision occurs.

Nationally, 1.6 million car accidents are attributed to cell phone use each year. Despite the prevalence of cell phone use while driving, 94 percent of drivers polled by the National Safety Council support a ban on texting while driving and 74 percent support a ban on hand-held phone use. Text messaging while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.

How Can Illinois Drivers be Safer?

The most obvious way for a driver to be safer on the road is to refrain from using his or her phone while driving. Making it a rule that you will not use your phone while you are in the driver's seat can be a great way to ensure that you never drive distracted, but it also requires a great deal of discipline. If you are a parent of a teenage driver, discuss the dangers of cell phone use while driving with him or her. Make this, as well as other aspects of driver safety like seat belt use and obeying the rules of the road, a consistent discussion between yourself and your teen driver.

In Illinois, drivers aged 19 and older are permitted to speak on the phone while driving if they are using a hands-free device, such as a Bluetooth headset. If you find yourself frequently receiving phone calls while you are in the car, consider investing in this type of device.

Many of us rely on our phones to navigate us toward our destination. If you use your phone's GPS feature, set it before you leave your origin and do not turn it off until you have arrived at your destination.

When driving with a passenger, consider having the passenger handle all interactions with the phone, such as entering your destination in the GPS or responding to calls and text messages on your behalf. If you do not have a passenger and you absolutely need to use your phone while you are driving, pull over and park the car.

Work with Our Team of Experienced McHenry County Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a car accident because of another driver's use of a cell phone or any other type of negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. In this claim, you need to prove that the other driver's negligence directly caused you to be injured and that the injury directly caused you to suffer the damages for which you are seeking compensation. Our team of Crystal Lake personal injury lawyers at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC has experience in helping clients obtain and use available evidence to prove their claims' validity and pursue monetary compensation for their losses. Contact our firm today to get started on your case with a qualified member of our team.

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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