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More needed to stem tide of distracted driving

People in Illinois who have been driving for many decades have seen the change in laws and penalties associated with drunk driving. The effort kicked into high gear when the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving took up the charge. While too many innocent people continue to die in these terrible crashes, there have been some improvements since that time. Today, a new threat has been added on the roads in the form of distracted driving.

Despite clear statistics that show the risk and damage done by drivers who refuse to put their phones away while behind the wheel, penalties for distracted driving remain amazingly weak, especially in comparison to those for drunk driving. An example can be seen in a case in Minnesota where a texting driver hit and killed a pregnant woman who was also the mother of another young child.

That driver's fate is still to be determined but at the most he will spend 12 months in jail for his reckless driving charge, a misdemeanor, if convicted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that as many as 3,500 lives are lost annually in distracted driving crashes. Without change, this number may only increase.

Clearly action is needed to make a difference. For this reason and for the purposes of learning how to be compensated after a distracted driving crash, people in Illinois may want to reach out to an attorney for information and assistance.

Source: Journal Star, "Light penalties await most caught texting and driving," Paul Feldman, February 17, 2018

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