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CDC: 58% of Teens Text Behind the Wheel

The CDC’s recent report is one that our Chicago personal injury lawyers find alarming: research suggests that more than half of high school seniors admit that they text or email while driving.

MSNBC reports that this study provides the first set of federal statistics on how common the dangerous habit is, in teens. The information was collected by way of an anonymous national survey on driving habits. The CDC, or Centers for Disease Control, conducts a nation-wide study on teen driving every two years, but this was the first time the inquiry asked about texting while driving. Frighteningly, the results ultimately revealed the fact that 58 percent of high school seniors had texted or emailed while driving, during the previous months. Although the survey didn’t ask whether the high school students’ texting was done while the vehicle was moving or stopped, the end result is still a distraction that takes teens’ eyes off the road.

Every time a driver gets behind the wheel of a car, he or she is accepting responsibility for the safety of everyone else on the road. Although accidents can and do happen, when a driver’s negligent behavior or careless actions lead to the injury or death of another person, the negligent driver must be held accountable. When a driver is distracted – for instance, by an email or text message – and, as a result, pays less attention to his or her driving and a car accident occurs, it may lead to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit in which the driver who caused the harm may be made to pay damages resulting from the injuries sustained in the crash.

What’s more is that, when those car accidents cause fatalities, Chicago wrongful death lawsuits may arise instead. Under Illinois law, wrongful death is the legal concept that arises when a person’s death has been caused by the fault or negligence of another person or business. In cases of wrongful death, family members and loved ones of the decedent can file a claim to potentially make the wrongdoer pay damages for things such as the loss of companionship, monetary damages to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided, and expenses associated with the death such as funeral and burial costs.

Injuries suffered as a result of these types of accidents can be severe and life altering. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers want people to be safe. Consistent with the recommendations offered by the study, we recommend that people wait until they get where they are going, or pull over to the side of the road, to read and send emails and texts. Though instantaneous communication is an enormous benefit to society, no text is worth a life.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that is the result of another driver’s negligent behavior, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law. Our attorneys have enormous experience handling automobile accident cases, and even obtained a $2.07 million verdict for a 23-year-old woman who suffered multiple leg fractures in an automobile collision.