Illinois motorists are often unable to resist the temptation to check their cellphones when behind the wheel. With these devices having greater capabilities, people can stay connected 24 hours a day. Taking advantage of that when driving is dangerous, causing motor vehicle accidents with injuries that can often be fatal. Despite legislators and law enforcement trying to emphasize its risk and taking various steps to prevent it, distracted driving continues to happen. Drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians should be aware of it and know how to respond after a crash.

Assessing distracted driving fatality statistics

Recent statistics show distracted driving remains problematic. This is true despite a statistical decrease in fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in its analysis of 2019 accidents that while there was a 2% reduction in fatalities from 2018, injuries increased by more than 1%. Accidents in general increased slightly.

Distraction is a factor in many auto accidents with nine fatalities and more than 1,000 injuries every day caused by it. The numbers have been reducing, but it remains a vexing issue. In 2015, there were around 4,000 distracted driving fatalities. There were more than 500 fewer in 2016. By 2019, around 8.5% of fatal collisions involved a distracted driver. Simply because the numbers are getting better does not eliminate it. States are implementing harsher penalties for drivers who are caught using a cellphone behind the wheel. Still, many believe they can multitask without realizing how much damage distracted driving can cause.

Help might be needed in the aftermath of a distracted driving accident

Any motor vehicle accident can cause problems in a person’s life. Medical expenses, the inability to work, the need for various forms of care and other challenges commonly arise. When there is a fatality, the family left behind will be confronted with the personal, emotional and financial ramifications. If the collision was because of a distracted driver, this could be a crucial aspect of determining the next step. For assistance in gathering evidence and charting a path forward, it may be useful to have legal guidance.

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