Illinois authorities looking to curb distracted driving

If you count yourself among the many people across Illinois who have encountered distracted drivers on the roadway, you are in good company. It may help calm your fears to know that state authorities, too, have taken notice of the increase of distracted drivers on state roads, and they are now taking strides to help combat the growing trend. Regrettably, distracted driving is a common occurrence in Illinois and across the nation, resulting in the deaths of thousands of motorists every year.

In fact, per the Mendota Reporter, almost one-tenth of all fatal car crashes in 2016 involved distracted drivers, resulting in the deaths of 3,450 people that same year. While “distracted driving” is an umbrella term for a broad number of behaviors drivers employ behind the wheel, texting while driving is one of the most common distracted driving behaviors, and this is particularly true among drivers between the ages of 16 and 24.

Other examples of distracted driving

While texting, emailing or sending other electronic communications from behind the wheel all constitute distracted driving, so, too, do other actions involving cellphones. For example, many motorists, and especially younger ones, find themselves mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds while sitting at red lights, waiting in traffic or even traveling down the roadway. Doing so can prove just as dangerous as texting or emailing while you drive.

Additionally, eating or drinking while driving is another example of a common distracted driving practice that endangers you and everyone else on the Illinois roadway. So, too, is “rubbernecking,” or slowing down or turning to check out accidents, billboards or other attention-grabbing buildings or attractions on the side of the road.

Enhanced enforcement

In response to the increasingly widespread distracted driving problem, state authorities are beefing up enforcement across the state and taking strides to catch distracted drivers. Currently, Illinois drivers law enforcement officials catch engaging in distracted driving practices face a $120 fine for a first offense.