The term “Distracted Driving” encompasses many unsafe driving behaviors. Generally, it includes anything that encourages the driver to take their eyes of the road and/or think about something besides their important driving activities. All distractions have the potential to cause accidents and injuries or fatalities.
- Texting / emailing / World Wide Web browsing
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Most states now have laws or are contemplating laws that ban some form of distracted driving.
Current Illinois Law
- Distracted Driving - A law enforcement officer may charge a person with distracted driving if the officer has stopped the person for any violation of a law or ordinance governing the movement of vehicles and if the officer determines that the driver was driving while distracted.
- A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device. There are exceptions such as using the device for a purpose that is not prohibited in the statute.
- All cell phone use while driving is prohibited in an active school zone unless stopped or using a hands-free device.
- Senate Bill 2488 prohibits cell phone use in construction or maintenance speed zones regardless of the speed limit in those zones. Motorists can use cell phones in voice-operated mode, which includes the use of a headset or cell phones used with single button activation.
- House Bill 5101 prohibits texting or using a hand-held cell phone while driving a commercial motor vehicle.
- Handheld use of cell phones is banned for all drivers.
Apps to Prevent or Discourage Distractions to Driving
There are numerous smartphone apps that help you be less distracted while you drive. They generally fall into two camps. Those that prevent certain functions from working while you drive and those that measure your driving skills and give you feedback as to how often you distract yourself with your phone.