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That text message can wait if you are behind the wheel

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Posted on November 3, 2020

A lot of attention has been given lately to texting and driving. Laws have been passed in Illinois making texting and driving a moving violation, with enhanced penalties for multiple infractions or if the texting motorist causes another person to suffer “great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement.” Moreover, many public safety initiatives have been implemented all over Illinois to bring awareness to the dangers of texting and driving, and with good reason. Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving that could lead to a catastrophic car accident.

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

Texting and driving is dangerous because it encompasses the three primary ways a driver can be distracted. First, sending a text message takes a driver’s hands off the steering wheel, which distracts the driver manually. Second, reading or composing a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road, which distracts the driver visually. Third, reading and thinking about how to reply to a text message takes a driver’s attention off the task of driving, which is a cognitive distraction.

Texting and driving is not just irresponsible, it is negligent

Any of the distractions caused by texting and driving make it difficult if not impossible for a driver to react to unexpected traffic situations and pay attention to street signs, traffic lights or other drivers in their vicinity. All drivers in Illinois are tasked with driving in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances. If this duty of care is breached, and the breaching driver causes a car crash, they may be held accountable for the damages they caused. As this post does not offer legal advice, those in the Springfield area who have been in a car accident caused by a texting driver may want to consult with a personal injury attorney for further information.