Texting while operating a motor vehicle can have serious consequences. Obviously, drivers operating a motor vehicle will be distracted when they are responding to or sending emails or texts on a smart phone. There has been an increase in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers responding to texts or emails due to the increase in the number of smart phones used by the general population.
One state is now pushing to have distracted drivers in Fatal Car Crashes to serve long term jail time similar to the penalties of an OUI charge causing a death. The state of Illinois Lawmakers are pushing for 20 months of jail time if the driver causes an accident while distracted by an electronic device and a death occurs. Lawmakers predict there will be a drop in the illegal use of cell phones if there are more strict penalties, including the possibility of significant jail time. One lawmaker from Illinois said “to respond to a text message while traveling 75 MPH on our roads, you are making a conscious decision that places the life of others in great peril”.
A newspaper story in Illinois reported over 1,000 people were found breaking the state law requiring cellphone usage be hands free while driving when they observed 10 major intersections on a weekday. The study concluded nearly 2 drivers a minute of 5 drivers every three minutes were illegally texting or talking on their cellphones.
If you or somebody you know were involved in a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, and you believe the cause of the accident was from a distracted driver using a cell phone, you should contact an experienced attorney such as Attorney Michael Smith to gain a better understanding of your rights and remedies.