Distraction occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. Distracted driving includes texting, using the cell/smart phone, eating/drinking, talking, grooming, reading, using GPS, watching videos and adjusting radio/cd/MP3 players.
Texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves manual, visual, and cognitive distraction simultaneously. In 2012, over 3,300 people were killed in distraction-affected crashes and another 421,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of just over an entire football field, blindfolded. It's extraordinarily dangerous. (USDOT)
Effective January, 2014:
The State of Illinois enacts law making it illegal to operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using a handheld electronic communication device. An electronic communication device is described as an electronic device, including but not limited to a hand-held wireless telephone, hand-held personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer. The law does not apply when a driver is using the device in an emergency situation, a driver is using the device in hands-free mode, a driver parked on the shoulder of a roadway, or a driver stopped in obstructed traffic while the vehicle is in neutral or park.
Effective March, 2010:
The City of Evanston enacts an ordinance banning the use of handheld mobile telephone while operating a motor vehicle. “Mobile telephone” is described as a cellular, analog, wireless, or digital telephone capable of sending or receiving telephone messages without an access line for service. “Use” is described talking or listening to another person, text messaging, sending, reading or listening to an electronic message, or browsing the internet.
Effective January, 2010:
The State of Illinois enacts law stating that a person regardless of age may not use a wireless telephone in a school speed zone, construction zone or a maintenance speed zone. The state of Illinois also made it illegal for any person to operate a vehicle on the roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send or read an electronic message.
Distracted Driving Education:
Distracted Driving Public Service Announcements:
- Official Government Website
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Illinois Secretary of State