How many times have you been stuck behind or next to someone who was driving erratically or missed a signal change while looking down at a cell phone? This type of behavior while behind the wheel can result in horrific accidents and lost lives. Despite laws requiring the use of a hands-free device or speakerphone, handheld use of a cell phone while driving is still too common.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This activity includes the following types of driver behavior:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting the radio/music
- Talking with passengers
- Reading a map or GPS system
Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 3,092 people died in the U.S. in 2010 due to accidents caused by distracted drivers, and about 416,000 others were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers. Despite technological improvements, we are all still at risk when operating motor vehicles. These statistics are unlikely to improve any time soon, and it is important that you protect your rights if you or a loved one becomes involved in such an accident.
Illinois Law Regarding Cell Phone Use While Driving
In 2014, the Illinois legislature outlawed the use of handheld devices while driving. In Illinois, you are only allowed to use a cell phone if it is being used through Bluetooth or a hands-free speakerphone. The exceptions to this are if you are in a school zone, in a highway construction zone, or if you are a new driver. Furthermore, you must be over 19 years of age to use even a hands-free device while driving.
Illinois Time Limits on Filing Suit
Illinois sets a time limit of two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. In most cases, this two-year time limit, known as a “statute of limitations,” begins to run on the date of the accident. Sometimes, however, a statute of limitations might run from the date that you discovered you were injured, rather than the date of the event that injured you. This later date is known as a “discovery date.”
For injury claims against a city or county, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time limit to sue the state is generally two years, but you must file a formal claim within one year in order to sue.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help guide you through this difficult time and alleviate some of the stress.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Cases like these can be complicated. When dealing with the intricacies of proving a distracted driving car accident case, you need an experienced attorney to wrestle the details. For a confidential, compassionate, in-depth, free, and, most importantly, thorough consultation with a Rockford Personal Injury Lawyer about your distracted driving auto accident injury case in Rockford, Belvidere, Freeport, Rochelle, Oregon, Loves Park, Byron, Machesney Park, Roscoe, Rockton, or elsewhere in the State of Illinois, call or text message us at (815) 391-0089, or e-mail us 24/7/365. We offer in-office consultations, and routinely make visits to clients’ homes, hospital rooms, nursing homes, and other off-site locations to make retaining our services as easy as possible.