Everyone is aware of the dangers that drunk drivers can cause on our roads and highways. Drunk drivers cause thousands of accidents every year, which lead to many serious injuries and deaths. It’s no wonder that lawmakers and advocacy groups are continually looking for ways to stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. Likewise, these groups typically seek for tougher penalties for intoxicated drivers as well. What about distracted drivers? According to many reports, drivers distracted by cell phones or other devices are just as dangerous as drunk drivers. To that end, one Illinois’ lawmaker is looking to create harsher penalties for distracted drivers, especially those who cause deadly accidents.
A state lawmaker has introduced legislation that would make distracted driving a Class 2 felony instead of a Class 4 felony. Rep. Robert Marwick is seeking a prison sentence of about 20 months for anyone convicted of aggravated use of an electronic device, instead of minimal jail time. The state Rep. believes that the harsher penalties would help deter people from driving distracted, in the same way that harsher DUI penalties have helped deter people from driving while intoxicated.
Distracted driving is a serious problem on Chicago road, as well as anywhere else. According to one study from last year reported by the Daily Herald, during just one hour-long time period at 10 different suburban intersections, more than 1,000 drivers were reportedly breaking the Illinois’ hands-free cell phone law. That amounts to about five drivers every three minutes who were either illegally talking, texting or doing some other activity on their phones with their hands. At last report, the bill was still awaiting to be assigned to a House committee in order to be heard.
Obviously, this bill could be a great help in the battle to keep people from driving while distracted. Distracted drivers cause serious accidents every day, and they should be held responsible for their decisions. No one should have to suffer serious debilitating injuries because another driver decided to answer a text while operating his or her vehicle.
At the law office of Michael T. Friedman & Associates P.C., we work hard to bring you justice if you have been seriously hurt in an accident. If you have been the victim of a distracted or negligent driver, then you should contact us for help. We will evaluate your case to determine if a lawsuit is in your best interest, and we will fight for your rights. Please contact us today if you have been hurt in an auto accident in Chicago. Call us at 312-339-8816, or click here.
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