Last year, drivers using cell phones were the cause of three thousand deaths and many more injuries. To understand Illinois’s laws about this dangerous behavior, and the legal precedent being established around the country, read on.
Under Illinois law, it is legal to use a cell phone driving, with several exceptions. Cell phone use is illegal in construction zones and school zones, in the city of Chicago, and for anyone under the age of nineteen and school bus drivers. Texting while driving is illegal at all times. These laws are primary laws, meaning that a police officer can pull a driver over and issue a citation simply for using a cell phone, without needing to witness another violation.
As more states institute laws regulating cell phone use while driving, legal precedent regarding this issue is becoming more defined. A Las Vegas woman who killed two people while driving recklessly and talking on her phone faced two counts of manslaughter, for example. In South Carolina in 2010, the families of two bicyclists killed by a driver on his cell phone each received $2.5 million in damages. These cases are extreme examples, but distracted drivers all around the country are facing penalties for their actions. In states that outlaw talking on the phone while driving, violators face expensive tickets even if they do not cause an accident. Additionally, if an employee is driving while on the phone to conduct work-related business, any harm he causes may result in a lawsuit against his employer, who presumably endorsed the dangerous practice. Legislators hope that these laws will deter cell phone use while driving, though this has not been the case yet.
Have you been injured by a driver who was texting or talking on his cell phone? For assistance filing a lawsuit, call (312) 983-6193 to set up a consultation with Malman Law in Chicago. The experienced attorneys in our office can help you get the damages you deserve. Our fees are contingency-based, so we don’t get paid unless you win.