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Illinois Drivers: Not-So-Fun Facts About Cell Phones and Driving

As Gurnee auto accident lawyers, we see many of the consequences of Gurnee car crashes that result from people who were talking on their cell phones, texting, or checking email while they should have been devoting their full attention to safe driving. Emergency medical workers and coroners who respond to vehicle accidents in Gurnee see the more immediate consequences.

Thankfully, people are waking up to the dangers of distracted driving, particularly talking on cell phones or texting while driving—laws are being passed, public service messages are being broadcast and driver’s education programs are emphasizing the importance of eliminating distractions when driving a vehicle.

One such effort is “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks,” a collaboration between the Ad Council, the office of the State Attorneys General and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The group’s website has a sobering set of facts about using cell phones while driving. For your convenience, here is the first half of that list.

  • The average amount of time your eyes are off the road when you text is 5 seconds. At 55 miles an hour, this is enough time to drive the length of a football field.
  • A driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to get into an accident than a driver who is not texting.
  • Cell phones were credited with 18% of fatalities—995 people— in wrecks due to distracted driving.
  • Using either a handheld or hands-free cell phone while driving slows a driver’s reaction as much as if the driver had a blood alcohol level of .08 — the legal limit.
  • One-fifth of crashes in 2009 involving injury included reports of distracted driving.
  • In 2009 in the United States, 5,474 people died and 448,000 were injured in vehicle accidents that involved distracted driving.
  • Drivers younger than 20-years-old are the largest age group of distracted drivers; 16 percent of all drivers in this age group who were involved in fatal wrecks had been distracted at the time of the accident.
  • Drivers using handheld devices are four times more likely as those who don’t to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of drivers younger than 35 years old who have cell phones send or read text messages while driving.
  • More than half (60%) of all drivers use cell phones while driving.
  • More than half (57%) of all drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers.
  • In an online survey of 1,999 teens ages 16 to 19, 86% had driven while they were distracted, even though 84% said that they knew it was dangerous.
  • Of teens who drive while distracted...
    • 34% say that they are used to multitasking.
    • 32% don’t think that anything bad will happen to them.
    • 22% say that it makes driving less boring.

We will review the remainder of these enlightening facts in a subsequent article. In the meantime, if you are ever injured in a car wreck in Gurnee because the other driver was using a cell phone, get yourself an experienced Gurnee auto accident lawyer at Hupy and Abraham. For a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation, call us toll-free at 800-800-5678. You can also request our free book, The Ultimate Guide for Automobile Accident Victims.