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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Traffic Safety: Cell Phone Use and Texting While Driving

Posted on in Traffic Violations

cell phone, traffic violations, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyOn a typical morning commute, a quick look around will reveal that people multitask behind the wheel in some pretty interesting ways. Some are eating breakfast; others could be scanning a newspaper, while still others may be shaving or putting on make-up.  Of course, among the most common sights are drivers talking on mobile phones or texting while driving.

In January, the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety released its annual report examining various factors affecting safe driving. The report represents a comprehensive survey conducted by the research group GfK, exclusively for the AAA Foundation. In preparing the 2014 Traffic Safety Culture Index, researchers reviewed a wide range of safety concerns including running red lights, speeding, accident rates, and distracted driving.

For the purposes of the survey, distracted driving included the use of cell phones, both hand-held and hands-free, as well the use of mobile devices to send emails or text messages while operating a motor vehicle. Unsurprisingly, a large majority of drivers recognize the potential danger related to driving distracted, and especially to texting while driving. Almost 70 percent of participants support restrictions to hand-held cell phone use behind the wheel, and nearly 90 percent support limits on texting.

Despite the study's finding of positive attitudes toward traffic safety related to cell phone use, its findings on behavior tell a slightly different story. More than two thirds of drivers report talking on their cell phone, with one in three doing so regularly. Likewise, more than 36 percent of participants report reading text messages or emails, and more than 27 percent admit to sending them while driving.

It may be tempting to conclude that most of the cell phone use and texting while driving is the result of young people not being safe on the road. The AAA Foundation's study did, in fact, account for age, and the research suggests that teens are actually less likely to use cell phones or text and drive than other age groups. Adults between the ages of 19 and 39 were far more likely to use a mobile device while driving, with drivers between 25 and 39 being the most likely of any age group.

By examining the the most affected age groups, it seems reasonable that those using cell phones or texting while driving are likely to have started doing so prior to the existence of most related laws and restrictions. In Illinois, hand-held use of mobile devices while driving for voice calls or messaging became illegal in 2014. Hands-free devices remain legal, but drivers should use caution and avoid distraction whenever possible.

If you have been cited for texting while driving in Illinois, a qualified attorney can help you better understand your options under the law. Contact an experienced DuPage County defense lawyer at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. today by calling 630-472-9700. Facing any type of court-related proceeding can be daunting and our attorneys can provide the support and representation you deserve throughout the process.

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