Over the past several years, the state of Illinois has taken steps to reduce the occurrence of traffic accidents caused by drivers engaging in “distracted driving.” To most drivers distracted driving means talking on one’s cell phone while operating a vehicle, but in reality, distracted driving laws apply to several other activities.
According to the Illinois State Police, if a driver engages in any of the following activities, and as a result causes a traffic accident, he or she may face criminal charges and incarceration.
- Shaving or other grooming activities such as combing one’s hair or nail maintenance
- Texting or Emailing
- Tuning or adjusting the volume on the radio
- Reading and/or writing
- Eating, drinking, or smoking
- Applying makeup
- Arguing/fighting with passengers
- Adjusting contact lenses
- Picking up an item from the floor of the vehicle
- Reaching for the glove compartment
Even those activities that one would consider quite legal could cause a licensed driver to face charges under Illinois’s distracted driving statutes .
Cell Phones Remain a Big Distraction
Illinois law allows drivers over the age of 18 to use a cell phone while driving only when doing so with a hands-free or Bluetooth-enabled device. In fact, while these exceptions are permitted, Illinois law enforcement continues to encourage individuals to pull their vehicles over when they must use their cell phones.
The following cell phone usage activities are expressly prohibited in the state of Illinois:
- ANY cell phone usage by drivers under the age of 18
- Texting while driving
- ANY cell phone usage in a construction or a school zone
- Hand-held cell phone usage when traffic comes to a standstill. You are only legally permitted to use a hand-held cell phone if your vehicle is in neutral or park
Consult a Reputable Will County Distracted Driving Lawyer
The best way to avoid being charged with distracted driving may very well be to just keep two hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. However, should you ever face charges of distracted driving, it is important to have an experienced Will County traffic defense attorney at your side to ensure you receive fair treatment under the law. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will work on your behalf to minimize any penalties you face and protect your driving privileges.