Posted On: June 11, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

Preventing Cook County Car Accidents: Park Ridge Aldermen Reconsidering Whether to Ban Motorists from Using Hand-Held Cell Phones

Six months after the Park Ridge City Council decided not to impose a ban on hand-held cell phones while driving, its aldermen have agreed to reconsider whether the decision was the right one. Meantime, Chicago, Winnetka, and Evanston have put laws into place that only allow drivers to use hands-free phones while driving. Throughout Illinois, hand-held devices while driving in construction and school zones are prohibited, as is texting while driving.

Driving with a hand-held cell phone device requires a motorist to take at least one hand off the steering wheel, which can make it harder to stop or swerve or maintain control of the vehicle during an emergency situation. This can result in catastrophic Cook County, Illinois car crashes, which is why many cities and states have started making it illegal to talk with a phone in hand while driving.

There are also more experts who are now saying that driving on any kind of cell phone—whether hands-free or hand-held—ups the chances that a motorist will become involved in and/or cause a traffic crash. In March, the National Safety Council released a white paper talking about the risks involved with cell phone use coupled with driving and noted that regardless of whether or not a driver is holding the phone, the brain is still multitasking, which is not a safe activity to engage in while operating a motor vehicle.

The NSC reports that not only does cell phone use while driving impair driving performance and driver attention, but also it weakens the brains ability to catch onto driving cues. Drivers using cell phones tend to “look at” without seeing up to 50% of information found in the driving environment. This type of inattention blindness can make it hard for motorists to evaluate their surroundings, note possible hazards, and respond appropriately to unexpected occurrences. Unfortunately, it is no longer unusual news to hear that someone was injured or killed because another person was using a cell phone. Cell phone accidents claim many lives each year.

Park Ridge to reconsider ban on cell phone use while driving, Chicago Tribune, June 11, 2010

The National Safety Council Releases White Paper on Brain Distraction During Cell Phone Use While Driving, NSC, March 26, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving, NHTSA

No Phone Zone, Oprah

Contact our Chicago car accident lawyers today. You may have grounds for a Chicago injury case.

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