A couple weeks ago, we discussed some common behaviors drivers engage in that are likely to cause distracted driving accidents. Of course, every Illinois driver knows that texting while driving is illegal and dangerous, but there are plenty of other driver distractions that can be just as likely to cause a crash.
Distracted driving is a huge problem in Chicago and throughout the state. Despite laws against texting or using a handheld cellphone while driving, these distractions are still responsible for countless car accidents and injuries.
By this point, no licensed driver in the United States could honestly say that they haven't been warned of the dangers of distracted driving. Numerous studies have shown that distractions behind the wheel - especially those caused by a cellphone - make the driver significantly more likely to cause a car accident.
In previous posts, we have written many times about the growing problem of distracted driving, both here in Chicago and around the nation. Despite the widespread public knowledge that texting and other distracted driving behaviors significantly increase the chances of a car accident, a growing number of Americans are giving into distractions behind the wheel.
You wouldn't necessarily realize it if you regularly drive in Chicago traffic, but traffic fatality rates nationwide have been either decreasing or holding steady since about 2005. Unfortunately, the latest figures from 2012 show that we are now heading in the opposite direction and car accident fatality rates are again beginning to rise.
In the wake of a fatal accident, it can take time to discern the accident's cause or causes. Most of the time, however, the answer is tragically predictable. For example, the National Transportation Safety Board recently released the results of their investigation into a fatal accident that took more than a year to complete.
Government and industry statistics state that anywhere from 3 percent to 33 percent of fatal car accidents are caused by drowsy drivers. And Chicago drivers may be interested in a new Center for Disease Control study that found that 1 in 24 adult drivers in the U.S. said they had recently fell asleep while driving. That statistic alone is enough to give anyone nightmares, but when you add other statistics, including distracted driving and drunk driver-related car accidents, traveling on our nation's highways can be downright deadly.
When an individual is killed by the preventable negligence or recklessness of others, his or her death is characterized as a wrongful death. In these cases, the negligent or reckless party can generally be held liable for their behavior through a civil suit. However, this explanation does not do justice to the underlying truth of what a wrongful death truly is: tragic and tragically preventable.
They're called "smart" phones, but it seems as though their owners use them in some pretty dumb ways. By now, there is little doubt that distracted driving is dangerous and increases the danger of getting into a car accident. While a great many things can be distracting to a driver, the cellphone seems to be the most common one.
When teenagers first get their license, it is a symbolic rite of passage that, for over half a century, has been associated with freedom, independence and youthful exuberance. While nearly all teens eagerly look forward to the day they can get behind the wheel, other drivers in the Chicago area and around the country are slightly more apprehensive.