The issue of using a cellphone while driving is not going away. Even with laws on the books in most states in the country, there are still plenty of accidents happening every year that involve a driver who was using his or her cellphone. According to the National Safety Council, about one quarter of traffic crashes in 2010 involved a driver that texting on their phone or using their phone in some other way. That’s about 1.3 million accidents over the course of the year.
In Illinois, it is illegal for any driver to text and drive, and it is also illegal for any driver to use a phone without a hands-free device. For drivers who are not yet 18 years of age, they can’t use a cellphone at all while driving.
And this is where the state of Illinois needs to get tougher. According to a study in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 41 percent of teens said they had texted while driving at some point. Some other data shows that Illinois teens are actually above that national average, with 43 percent of girls and 47 percent of boys in Illinois saying they have texted while driving.
Some education efforts are being made in schools in DeKalb, but this is an issue that isn’t going to go away. Hopefully these education efforts curb the amount of texting while driving we’re seeing with drivers nowadays — but these wrecks will, sadly, still happen. When they do, the reckless driver needs to be held responsible for his or her negligent act.
Source: Washington Times, “EXCHANGE: DeKalb schools warn about texting,” Andrea Pizzo, AP, July 21, 2014