A new law, which became effective July 1, 2020, establishes much tougher penalties for drivers who seriously injure others while operating electronic communication devices, i.e., hand-held cell phones, hand-held personal digital assistants, or a portable or mobile computer.

Public Act 101-0090 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code by establishing a 12-month driver’s license suspension and a minimum fine of $ 1,000 for a driver who, while using an electronic communication device, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to another person.  

Distracted driving, such as talking and texting while driving, is a significant cause of motor vehicle crashes because the driver’s attention is diverted from driving. According to research from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 25% of police reported collisions involve drivers using their cell phones, and texting while driving is six times more dangerous than impaired driving. 

Sobering thought: diverting your eyes from the roadway for just five seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of driving distracted for the length of an entire footfall filed. Hopefully, the stiffer penalties for distracted driving will act as a deterrent and encourage more responsible driving habits.

If you have been the victim of a distracted driver, contact Liana A. Bizios Law, LLC at (312) 357-0733 for a free consultation to discuss your particular accident.