Distracted Driver

Alton Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers

Fighting for Illinois car crash victims

Every driver who texts while driving, talks on a cell phone while driving, or eats while driving is taking a risk with their life, your life, and everyone on the road. Driving while distracted is irresponsible. Conversations can wait until a driver gets to his/her destination. Hungry drivers should eat before they drive. When drivers of any age drive while distracted, they should be held accountable for any injuries or deaths they cause.

At Glisson Law, Attorneys at Law, our car accident lawyers in Alton understand the unique challenges and issues involved in distracted driving cases in Illinois. We work with investigators, speak with the police who wrote the accident reports, question all the witnesses and the defendants, and review any smartphones for other devices  - to show a driver was distracted. We explain to insurance adjusters and juries why distracted driving caused the car, truck, or motorcycle crash that caused your injuries or the death of a loved one.

How common is distracted driving?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving killed more than 3,500 people in 2021. A local report states that 193 people were killed in 171 distracted driving accidents in Illinois in 2020.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that driver distraction in young drivers between 15 and 20 was proportionally a larger cause of fatal accidents than for drivers 21 and older. A 2019 survey found that 39 percent of high school students said that in the prior 30 days, they emailed or texted someone while driving at least one time.

What is distracted driving?

The CDC defines distracted driving as:

  • Visual distraction. Taking your eyes off the road. Drivers need to focus on the traffic in front of them, in the rear, and on both sides.
  • Manual distraction. Taking your hands off the wheel. In the split-second it takes for a driver to return his/her hands to the steering wheel, an accident can occur.
  • Cognitive distraction. Taking your mind off driving. All drivers need to drive defensively which means anticipating and responding to any emergencies that may occur.

Examples of distracted driving that cause a loss of visual, manual, or cognitive focus include:

  • Sending, receiving, or reading text messages while driving
  • Speaking or handling a cell phone while driving
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking while driving
  • Adjusting any type of entertainment device such as a computer, CD player, radio, or video device
  • Looking at, instead of listening to, a GPS
  • Looking at and speaking with passengers in the car
  • Focusing on children and pets in the vehicle
  • Reading or grooming while driving
  • Looking at the scenery instead of the road in front
  • Many other activities

Cars travel nearly 90 feet in just one second. A driver who is distracted for that one second or a few seconds is a dangerous driver.

What are the Illinois laws on distracted driving?

Illinois has two laws that govern distracted driving in Illinois.

The first law prohibits drivers under 19 from using cell phones while driving except for emergencies. Drivers of all ages cannot use a wireless telephone (a cell phone) if they drive through a school zone, a construction zone, or within 500 feet of emergency sites. Exceptions for this second type of usage (all drivers) may apply. For example, using a hands-free device is generally permissible.

Violations can be as much as $1,000 for a first or second offense. A third offense is a Class C misdemeanor. Violations that result in bodily harm, a permanent disability, disfigurement, or a fatality may qualify as “aggravated use of a wireless telephone,” a class A misdemeanor or a class 4 felony depending on whether the accident was fatal.

The second law prohibits drivers from using electronic communications devices while driving a vehicle. Electronic communication devices include cell phones, laptops, and tablets. The law prohibits text messaging and talking on the electronic communication device. The law also makes it illegal to watch or stream a video while operating the vehicle. Some exceptions such as hands-free devices may apply. The penalties include fines. If someone suffers physical injuries or death, the driver could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if nobody died and a Class 4 felony if someone did die.

You can still have a successful distracted driving claim if the driver is not charged, fined, or convicted of either distracted driving law.

Glisson Law Team at Work

How do you show a driver was driving while distracted?

Our Alton-based personal injury lawyers work to show a driver was distracted by:

  • Requesting the right to examine any cell phones or other electronic devices to track the driver’s activity before the accident happened.
  • Questioning the driver, any other defendants, and any witnesses through the discovery process
  • Talking to the police and reviewing their police report
  • Determining if there are any nearby videos of the accident
  • Having our investigator examine the accident site and the vehicles for indications of distracted driving or any negligence

We may view other physical evidence such as truck logs, GPS systems, or sandwich wrappers to help show driver distraction caused your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.

Who is responsible for a distracted driving accident?

At Glisson Law, our Alton distracted driving attorneys file claims against anyone who caused or contributed to the accident. The defendants may include the driver, an employer (such as a trucking company), and the owners of the car (such as parents who failed to educate their teenage drivers about driving while distracted).

We also understand the unique issues involved when an Uber or Lyft driver drives while distracted by any electronic information or for other reasons.

What are the time limits for filing a distracted driving accident claim?

Illinois accident victims generally have two years from the date of the accident to file their claim. Some shorter time limits apply when the defendant is a government entity. We advise clients to contact us immediately while the memories of everyone involved are fresh - including the details about the driver’s distraction at the time of the accident.

Glisson Law Team Members

Do you have a distracted driving lawyer near me?

Glisson Law is located at 111 East Fourth Street, Suite 400, in Alton, IL. We’re a block away from City Hall. Nearby parking should be available. You can also reach us by bus. We also consider phone and video conferences by appointment.

We’ll guide you calmly and clearly through each stage of the claims process.

Talk to our skilled distracted driving lawyers today

There’s rarely a reason for driving while distracted. At Glisson Law, we fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for all your financial and personal damages. Many personal injury cases do settle. We are always ready to try your case before a jury. Get in touch with us today by calling our offices or filling out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. From our office in Alton, we proudly serve accident victims in Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Clair, Madison County, and all of Illinois and Missouri.