Driving is a daily activity that requires focus and good hand-eye coordination. Small mistakes by a driver can have catastrophic results for that person and anyone else in their vehicle. Focus on the task at hand is paramount to safely arriving at your destination.
Although most people understand that texting while driving is a dangerous activity, a large number of people still engage in this practice. You might hope, especially if you avoid mobile phones at the wheel, that other people would put safety before the need to communicate instantly.
Unfortunately, realistic studies examining driver behaviors make it clear that too many people are texting behind the wheel. In fact, you likely encounter a significant number of distracted drivers every single time you drive.
Analysis of 3 million drivers shows very high numbers of distracted drivers
If you imagine that the average person chooses not to text at the wheel on any given trip, you would be wrong. A study by Zendrive that looked at 3 million anonymous drivers in 2016 and 2017 for three months found that drivers, on average, use their phone for 88 out of every 100 trips they take.
Looking more closely at how people drive, it was clear that while most of the time they didn’t have their phones out, they were still using their phones at the wheel. The average driver used a phone for 3.5 minutes out of every hour they spent driving. Considering that even a few seconds of looking away from the road could mean missing hundreds of feet of street, 3.5 minutes is a frightening figure.
Chances are that texting and phone use while driving have only increased since then. Mobile phones and social media have become increasingly omnipresent parts of daily life. That could mean you cross paths with dozens of people engaging in dangerous distractions every time you drive.
Anyone hurt by a distracted driver likely has grounds for a legal claim
Illinois personal injury law protects individuals from the losses they could incur through the actions of another person behaving irresponsibly or in a criminal manner. Texting, in theory, may actually fall into both of those categories.
Those who choose to text not only violate Illinois state law but also potentially risk financial responsibility for any damage they cause. Although it may be difficult to go through court proceedings after a serious injury, it is often the best way to move forward if you get hurt by a distracted driver.
The first step will be gathering evidence and analyzing the prospects for your case. A consultation with a personal injury attorney can help you determine what the next step should be in your situation.