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Staying safe from distracted drivers

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Distracted drivers pose a great danger to others on the road, including other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Despite numerous educational campaigns against distracted driving, it continues to be a problem in Illinois.

Although there are many forms of distracted driving, using a phone is one of the most dangerous. Illinois law forbids drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving, except in certain situations.

Using hands-free technology may be legal, but it is still considered a form of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from the primary task of driving. This includes adjusting a music or navigation system, eating, drinking, talking to a passenger, interacting with children or even looking at something on the side of the road.

Signs of distracted driving

It is usually easy to spot distracted drivers on the road. They are the ones veering off into another lane or to the side of the road, constantly speeding up and slowing down or committing traffic violations such as driving through stop signs or stop lights.

Stay away from drivers acting this way as much as you can. This might mean pulling off to the side of the road to let them go past if you cannot keep a safe distance from them.

Even if some forms of distracted driving are legal, distracted driving is still negligent driving. This means if you are injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you could potentially receive compensation for your losses through a personal injury action.

Personal injury cases are based on negligence. All drivers have a legal duty to drive safely and with reasonable care. Proving negligence requires showing that a driver failed in this duty and caused an accident that results in damage.
The losses you suffer after a car accident can be catastrophic. Medical bills and lost wages or earning capacity are common losses. Non-physical losses include mental and emotional suffering. Car accident victims sometimes suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or are afraid to drive again.

Proving a driver was distracted

Proving negligence can be challenging when an accident was caused by distracted driving because it is sometimes harder to obtain evidence of distracted driving.

Evidence such as witness statements can help you prove distracted driving. A witness may have observed the other driver displaying signs of distracted driving immediately prior to the accident, such as talking to a passenger or swerving off the road.

Statements made to the police are another form of evidence that can be used to prove distracted driving. The police should be contacted and a report made after any accident.

Check for statements the other driver may have made to the police in the report. Sometimes people make incriminating statements to police out of nervousness or anxiety. The other driver might have admitted that they were using their phone or talking to someone when the accident happened.