Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 24, 2014 – Illinois state troopers are cracking down on motorists using cellphones in an effort to curb distracted driving, a major cause of car accidents.
Statistics from the Illinois State Police show that distracted driving citations in the first half of 2014 increased by 193 percent compared to the same
period last year. The crackdown comes after a statewide ban on the use of cellphones went into effect in January.
Prior to that, texting while driving was already prohibited statewide, and Chicago and several other municipalities had banned cellphone use entirely while driving.
“Distracted driving is the cause of many car accidents that result in serious injury and even death,” said Robert Briskman, a Chicago car accident attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. “It is extremely important for drivers to keep their attention on the road.”
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving resulted in 387,000 injuries and over 3,000 deaths nationwide in 2011. Drivers using cellphones are four times more likely to be involved in an injury-causing accident.
By June of this year, state troopers had written 5,238 tickets for distracted driving (compared to 1,788 in 2013). Safety advocates said the law is saving lives, though it is too early for crash statistics to be properly evaluated in order for any effect on safety to be measured.
Observers also noted that the law and its enforcement have not changed drivers’ habits as much as was hoped, as many people still use cellphones while driving. Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, who sponsored the new law, said that education and enforcement would eventually help drivers change their habits for the better.
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