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Distracted Driving Laws in Illinois

Distracted Driving Laws in Illinois

Distracted Driver

Despite an increase in legislation regarding the use of cell phones while driving, distracted driving doesn't seem to be dwindling. To increase drivers’ awareness of the dangers that follow this common practice, The National Safety Council has designated April, “Distracted Driver Awareness Month.” According to Distraction.gov, 43 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have banned text messaging for all drivers. Of these, only 12 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.

Why should you care?

It’s important to understand the laws regarding distracted driving in your state, as you could be ticketed for breaking them. Tickets lead to hefty fines and could negatively impact your driving record. In turn, a poor driving record could prevent you from taking advantage of affordable auto insurance options in Illinois. So, how does Illinois stack up when it comes to cell phones and driving?

First off, there are two types of laws regarding state specific bans: primary laws and secondary laws. A primary law means that a police officer can ticket you for an offense without any other traffic violation taking place, according to Distraction.gov. A secondary law means that an officer can give you a ticket only if you’ve been pulled over for another violation, like speeding, following too closely, or running a red light.

What are the distracted driving laws in Illinois?

In Illinois:

  • Bus drivers are banned from using cell phones while driving, both handheld and hands-free. (Primary law)
  • Novice drivers are banned from using cell phones while driving, both handheld and hands-free. (Primary law)
  • All drivers are banned from using cell phones in school zones and in highway construction zones.
  • Effective January 1, 2014, all drivers are banned from using handheld devices while driving. (Primary law)

"I always use my phone while driving. How do I stop?"

If you've become accustomed to talking on your phone and driving, it can be tough, but well worth it to break the habit. More than 3,000 people were killed in distraction-related crashes in 2012.

To quit using your cell phone while driving, consider doing the following:

  • Make a conscious choice to pull over or park before picking up your phone in the car.
  • Tell your friends and family that you will not be answering the phone when you’re driving.
  • If possible, turn your phone off when you’re driving. Then, keep it that way until you reach your destination!

While it might seem tough to quit this old habit, it is well worth it; you’re making the road a safer place for you, your passengers, and other drivers. You’re also increasing the likelihood that you could take advantage of your insurance company’s safe driver discount. Getting affordable auto insurance is about finding the right car insurance company, but also about doing your best to have a clean driving record. Being ticketed for using your cell phone while driving could impact your insurance rate. So, the next time your phone rings and you’re behind the wheel, ask yourself: Can this wait? Is this call worth risking my life? Is this worth a ticket? In all likelihood, it can wait. 



 
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