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Distracted Driving: What Does it Include?

By now we’ve all seen the campaigns aimed at distracted driving. Commercials featuring a teenager texting while driving, only to hit another car and flip ten times; billboards with such sayings as “Better left unread than dead” and “Hey you – hang up and drive!”

Those campaigns may seem cheesy, but distracted driving continues to be a pronounced issue in the United States with more than 2,800 fatalities in 2018 alone.

Texting and driving remain the biggest concern, and the issue is prevalent in Illinois – the Prairie State saw a 700% increase in tickets for cellphone use, skyrocketing from 1,729 in 2017 to 14,268 in 2018.

Police might be pushing back with more severe penalties, but hundreds of people are still injured or killed in distracted driving accidents in Chicago every year.

If you or a family member were injured, pursue compensation from the distracted driver. An experienced distracted driving attorney at Langdon & Emison will prove that the driver acted negligently and is therefore liable for your damages. Call Langdon & Emison at (312) 855-0700 for more information.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts your attention away from driving safely. There are countless ways someone can take their attention away from the road, putting themselves and others in danger. For example, texting and driving is one example of distracted driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a now-famous guide to distracted driving that includes three main categories: cognitive, manual, and visual distraction. It’s interesting to note that texting and driving, one of the main causes of distracted driving, involves all three.

Cognitive Distractions While Driving

A cognitive distraction is when a driver allows their mind to drift away from the task of staying alert and focused on the road. Some people may not think it’s a big deal to get wrapped up in their thoughts and drift away mentally, but doing so is extremely dangerous. When you “drift off” only for a second, you lose your ability to react to outside stimuli and the ability to potentially save your own life.

For example, if you’re daydreaming and fail to see another car entering your lane, you most likely won’t notice and will continue driving straight on instead of moving to avoid the car.

Other examples of cognitive distraction include:

  • Talking to a passenger

  • Road rage

  • Being under the influence

  • Listening to the radio or streaming service and getting wrapped up in a song

It’s legal in Illinois for drivers 19 and older to use hands-free devices or Bluetooth technology However, just because something is legal doesn’t make it completely safe. Hands-free devices do not prevent or eliminate cognitive distraction. Whether you’re texting or speaking out loud, your attention is still partially somewhere else.

Manual Distractions While Driving

Who hasn’t been running late to school or work and swung by a fast food place for a quick bite? Everyone does it, and if your eyes are on the road and not on your sandwich, it’s okay to eat and drive, right?

The statistics for manual driving distractions say something different. People who eat or drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be in a wreck. This may be because people who eat and drive have 44% slower reaction times than their non-eating counterparts. Other examples of manual distraction include:

  • Smoking

  • Adjusting the radio or searching for a song on your phone

  • Reaching for items in your vehicle

  • Entering information in a GPS or other navigation device

Car accidents and related injuries are expensive. If you were injured in a car wreck with a distracted driver, you’ll want to know how you’re going to pay for your medical bills and vehicle repairs.

Chicago auto accident attorneys Langdon & Emison have over three decades of experience recovering compensation for drivers who were injured because of someone else’s negligence. We’ve taken negligent drivers to court for our clients and won the compensation they needed to move past their injuries.

Let us help you in your fight against the negligent driver who caused your injury. Call (312) 855-0700 or contact us to schedule a free case consultation.

Visual Distractions While Driving

Sight is the most important of the five senses while driving. Visual distractions can inhibit perception and recognition of outside stimuli. A visually distracted driver can’t see potential hazards or assess their surroundings. When a driver chooses to take their eyes from the road, they’re putting others in danger.

Examples of visual distraction include:

  • Reading texts, emails, or other content on your phone

  • Looking for something in your car

  • Changing the radio or looking for a song on your phone

  • Entering information in a GPS or other navigation device

  • Reading billboards and other advertisements

  • Applying makeup or brushing hair

There are no excuses for distracted driving. It’s an unacceptable decision made by negligent drivers. Their actions cause injuries and fatalities across Chicago, and it’s imperative that a professional and experienced legal team holds them responsible.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you or a family member were injured by a distracted driver, you must seek legal help from an experienced Chicago car accident attorney. Your Langdon & Emison lawyer will establish that the other driver was negligent and is liable for your damages.

It is almost impossible that you will receive a fair settlement from either the insurance company or a jury without a lawyer, so don’t try to make your case by yourself.

Your personal injury lawyer at Langdon & Emison will prove the following in the distracted driving case:

  • The other driver had a duty to follow all rules of the road and to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly.

  • The distracted driver breached this duty because they were distracted, placing themselves and others in potential danger.

  • The accident was caused by the driver’s distraction.

  • You suffered damages because of the accident caused by the distracted driver. Damages include bodily injury and property damage.

Any car accident is distressing, particularly ones involving distracted drivers. Your fellow driver didn’t consider it important to keep others safe by waiting a little while longer to text or eat instead of focusing on driving.

Distracted driving may be a habit for some people, but that doesn’t make it right. If you were injured in a car accident where the other driver was distracted, hold them accountable and pursue legal action to recover the compensation you deserve. Langdon & Emison will help you receive the money you need for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and other expenses you incur because of the accident.

You don’t have to let this traumatic experience cost you more than it already has. Call Langdon & Emison, car accident lawyers in Chicago at (312) 855-0700 or contact us online for a free consultation.