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Will harsher distracted driving penalties ease Illinois crashes?

For all those drivers who are still drawn to their phone while driving, the state of Illinois is taking additional provisions to get their attention back on the road. Beginning in the summer of 2019, if a driver is caught using a phone or other similar electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, they will face harsher penalties than what is currently on the books now. With enough violations racked up, drivers will face license suspension.

Distracted driving has been a factor in over 1 million automobile crashes in North America every year which have resulted in serious injuries and even death. The Illinois State Police have warned that using your cell phone while driving will increase your chances of being in an accident by 400 percent.

New distracted driving penalties

The new distracted driving penalties will go into effect on July 1, 2019. If you are pulled over for using your phone or other handheld device as you drive, you will be cited with a moving violation if this is your first offense. Currently, drivers pulled over for this infraction are given a non-moving violation. Once you accumulate three violations in one year, you will have your license suspended.

Time to adjust

Lawmakers decided to have the new penalties start halfway into the year to give drivers time to adjust to what they will be facing if they are caught. After this time of adjustment, drivers will begin racking up violations with the possibility of license suspension.

This period of adjustment will need to curtail a lot of Illinois drivers since it was reported by the Illinois Department of Transportation that in 2017, it was observed that nearly 10 percent of drivers were observed being distracted by a phone or electronic device while driving.

It is important to remember that the new law only changes the penalties for using an electronic device while driving. If you have been in a car accident which you believe was the result of a distracted driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney right away to discuss how you can receive the compensation you deserve.

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