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Everything You Need to Know About Distracted Driving in Illinois

Updated on September 11, 2023 → Under

Distracted driving is recognized as a hazardous activity in Illinois and throughout the United States, encompassing any action that diverts a driver's attention from driving. It is illegal to use a hand-held cellphone or mobile handheld device such as a laptop, tablet, or video game while driving a motor vehicle in Illinois. Teen drivers under 19 cannot use hands-free mobile devices.

Illinois has laws against all distracting behavior while driving, including eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, grooming, and personal hygiene. Violating these laws can result in distracted driving charges, fines, points on your driving record, license suspensions, or even jail time. To stay safe, use cell phones in hands-free mode, always drive carefully, and avoid distractions.

If you have been charged with using your cell phone or other device while driving, call our experienced traffic lawyers today for a free consultation at Dohman Law Group!

What is Distracted Driving?

Driving distractions often cause traffic accidents on roads and highways. This happens when the driver loses focus on operating the vehicle. There are three types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive.

  • Visual distractions occur when the driver looks away from the road.
  • Manual distractions occur when the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive distractions occur when the driver's mind is off driving.

Sadly, most states still allow distracted driving, which poses a danger to others. It's crucial to raise awareness about this type of negligence because it can have severe consequences for everyone involved.

someone on their phone distracted driving in Illinois

All drivers are responsible for staying focused on driving and avoiding any distractions, regardless of their significance. If you're easily distracted while driving, consider turning off your cell phone or using hands-free technology while driving.

A Distracted Driving Ticket Is A Moving Violation

Distracted driving is a major safety concern on Illinois roads. The state has taken steps to reduce preventable accidents caused by distracted drivers.

In Illinois, a distracted driving accident is a moving violation and can result in a ticket. A distracted driving ticket comes with severe consequences. You may face fines, license suspension, and points on your driving record. If you cause an accident while distracted, you may face additional criminal charges.

It is important to avoid distracted driving at any cost. If you feel tempted to engage in distracting behavior while driving, take a moment to pause and focus on driving safely.

Distracted Driving Laws in Illinois

Illinois has taken a strong stance against distracted driving by enacting laws that restrict the use of hand-held devices while operating a vehicle. The new law, which went into effect in July 2019, states that all drivers are prohibited from reading, sending, or receiving text messages or communications and from browsing the internet while behind the wheel.

Furthermore, it also prohibits the use of handheld electronic communication devices while behind the wheel. This important legislation makes breaking these laws a moving violation and holds both new and veteran drivers accountable for their decisions.

a woman putting on makeup while driving in Illinois

The victims of distracted driving motor vehicle accidents have likely spurred this updated law; in fact, cell phone use as a factor in fatal crashes more than tripled between 2015 and 2018 in Illinois. Just one distraction can put everyone on and near the roadway in danger; ensuring enforcement of banned activities will reduce car accidents caused by distracted driving and help keep Illinois residents safe.

Exemptions for Distracted Driving in Illinois

Illinois has some exceptions to its distracted driving laws which allow for flexibility in emergencies.

The first exception is being able to use a handheld cell phone while reporting an emergency such as a motor vehicle crash. This allows drivers to make important calls without risking getting in trouble with the law.

Another exception is being able to use a handheld electronic device if you are parked on the shoulder of the roadway, which gives those who may have pulled over due to car troubles a safe way to get help.

FAQ: How long do points stay on you license in Illinois?

Additionally, drivers can use their phones if their vehicles are stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed as long as the vehicle is in neutral or park and can also use an earpiece, headphone device, or wireless hands-free device for cell phone usage.

These exceptions allow drivers flexibility in certain scenarios while still ensuring that safety takes precedence on the roads of Illinois even during unpredictable situations.

Distracted Driving Penalties in Illinois

Distracted driving is a serious issue that has been on the rise in Illinois and across the rest of the United States. As such, Illinois has strict laws against distracted driving, which means that drivers caught using their cell phones while driving can face legal penalties.

The consequences for this offense vary based on how many times it has occurred, starting with a $75 fine for first-time offenders. Second and third-time offenders must pay $100 and $125 respectively, whereas any further offenses will cost $150.

a toy car hitting a sign that reads "distracted driving"

Additionally, drivers who are found guilty of distracted driving can have other factors negatively affecting their records such as license suspension or points on their driver’s license. This results in even more fees associated with getting one’s license reinstated and higher insurance premiums.

It's crucial to keep in mind that using a cell phone while driving can result in significant penalties, which do not diminish the gravity of the matter. Motorists must be mindful of the potential consequences.

Common Types of Distractions While Driving

Distracted driving in Illinois is a serious issue, and it’s important to know what types of distractions are most common so that you can stay safe on the road. In Illinois, any activity that takes your attention away from driving is considered distracted driving. Below are some of the most common types of distractions while driving:

  • Cell Phone Use: Using a cell phone or other electronic device while driving, regardless of whether it is hands-free or not.
  • Eating and Drinking: Eating and drinking can be distracting, especially if the food is messy or difficult to eat.
  • Grooming: This includes activities such as putting on makeup, shaving, brushing your hair, etc.
  • Adjusting the Radio or Other Controls: Taking your eyes off the road to adjust any controls, such as the radio or air conditioner can be hazardous.
  • Talking to Passengers: Conversations with passengers can be distracting and should be kept to a minimum when driving.

Call Dohman Law Group Today for Any Questions About Distracted Driving

If you’ve been involved in a car accident that was caused by distracted driving, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities.

In Illinois, distracted driving is defined as operating a vehicle while engaging in any activity that takes the driver’s attention from the road. This can include texting, eating, talking on the phone, or using a navigation system. Distracted driving is illegal and can result in serious penalties for drivers who are caught breaking the law.

If you have been charged with distracted driving, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney right away. Dohman Law Group is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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