Texting while behind the wheel is illegal in most states, including Missouri and Illinois. Illegal behavior behind the wheel includes sending, receiving, and responding to text messages. One of the dangers in doing any of these tasks is it is not looking at the road. And it doesn’t matter how briefly you look down at your phone, if you are texting while driving then you are moving in a vehicle over a specific period of time and distance without seeing where you’re going. This risky behavior can result in injuries, death, and property damage from wrecks caused by not looking.
Going Against The Law
In August 2018, Governor Bruce Rauner approved legislation that toughened consequences for drivers who are caught texting while driving in Illinois. In Missouri, it is illegal for drivers under age 21 to send or read text messages while driving. The law only applies to drivers in the 16-21 age range since they, statistically, are the highest users of smartphones or mobile devices. In both states, there are fines assessed to citizens breaking these laws. If you damage property or cause severe injury or even death to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian, then those will be considered aggravating conditions when determining your sentence.
Are there other forms of distracted driving?
Yes, and you should be aware of these because they can lead to the same catastrophic results as texting while driving. These other forms of distracted driving include reading maps, eating and drinking, changing the radio, or being distracted by other passengers in the car. It is advised to use a GPS that talks to you rather than a navigation system that requires you to physically pick up your phone to look at it. Texting plus driving is a guaranteed formula that leads to harsh consequences, and oftentimes it leads to disaster.
How To Avoid Texting While Driving
No matter your reason for composing and sending a text, no message is worth risking your life or the life of someone else. To help you stay focused while driving, put your phone on “silent.” You can also put it on “Do Not Disturb” mode or turn off notifications for texts, emails, and other incoming messages. That will allow you to still use your phone to listen to music or podcasts without beeping or pinging every time a message is received.
If you were injured in a car accident and witnessed the other driver’s head looking down, or otherwise appearing distracted by their phone or passengers, then be sure to tell the police about it. You will also want to speak to an attorney and get their input on what else you need to gather to prepare for your case.
Why You Need A Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a driver who was texting while driving then you need to contact a firm with experience handling accidents caused by distracted drivers. When interviewing different firms you want to ask about their track record for winning cases similar to yours. You will also want to find out whether or not they belong to any professional organizations, such as the state bar. Find more information here at hm-attorneys.com to learn what to do after an accident with someone who was texting while driving.