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Distracted Driving Accidents Over Labor Day Weekend Illustrate Dangers of Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel

Although Labor Day provides a wonderful respite for Chicagoans, several devastating accidents over this past holiday weekend illustrate the inherent dangers of using a cell phone while driving.

CBS Chicago reports that, over the three-day weekend, at least three Chicago-area accidents can be blamed on drivers tinkering with their phones.

The use of cell phones alone has increased exponentially over the past decade, and continues to intensify as time continues. In fact, the International Association for Wireless Telecommunications reports that, in the month of June, 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June, 2009. Additionally, because text messaging and using smartphone apps require visual, manual, and cognitive attention from a cell phone user, cell phones are by far the most alarming distraction for drivers.

According to CBS Chicago, the first notable cell phone-related accident occurred on Sunday when a man drove into a ditch while attempting to plug in his cellphone.

On Monday, a woman who was texting while driving dropped her phone and slammed into a tree as she kept driving while trying to pick it up.

The same day, another driver got into an accident while he attempted to fetch his dropped cell phone and ended up smashing into two parked cars and overturning his own vehicle.

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. Accidents can and do happen, but 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. A recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University revealed that Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. As a result, when a driver voluntarily uses a cell phone while driving, he or she is putting others in danger, and may therefore be responsible for injuries that arise from resultant car accidents.

Injuries suffered as a result of automobile accidents can be severe and life altering. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers want people to be safe, and urge people to wait until they get where they are going before using their cellphones.

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 Chicago car accident 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.