Since April marks National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, let’s discuss the laws against texting and driving and why they are so important. Cell phone usage, including texting, using GPS, and simply talking on the phone is one of the most common types of distracted driving. While just reading a message or typing a quick text seems easy, it only takes a fraction of a second to cause a serious auto accident that could potentially change your life or other’s lives forever.
Not only could texting lead to serious car problems or injuries, but it can land you in court, and whether you are on the side with personal injury, or being sued for personal injury causes to someone else, this is not a place you want to be. As personal injury attorneys, we have seen many unfortunate injuries due to other’s reckless driving. But, you may be wondering, are there actually laws against texting and driving? Let’s take a deeper look.
Missouri Laws Against Texting and Driving
According to this news article, in 2015 and 2016, Missouri State Senator David Pearce proposed an all-age ban against texting and driving. Although, this measure failed in the Transportation Public Safety Committee. Senator Pearce made the case that other lawmakers were concerned police wouldn’t be able to tell if a driver was actually texting while driving.
As of April 2016, Missouri still has very few restrictions for distracted drivers, including texting and driving. The only laws in place are for drivers under the age of 21, who cannot text while driving, and commercial drivers, who are banned from using cellphones at all while driving.
But, just because it’s not illegal right now doesn’t mean you should text and drive. If you are injured or cause injury to someone else due to negligent driving, your case won’t stand up well in court. There are currently several bills in the legislative session that address distracted driving, which include:
- Senate Bill 569 – This bill would make all adults over 21, subject to the existing ban on texting that is currently only applicable to those under the age of 21.
- Senate Bill 821 – This seeks to apply texting and driving bans to all drivers.
- House Bill 1377 – This makes existing state texting bans apply to all drivers.
- House Bill 1423 – This applies all existing bans on texting to all drivers as well.
- House Bill 1542 – This permits only hands-free texting by all drivers in the state, and applies to all ages.
- House Bill 1544 – This outlaws the use of handheld communication devices while driving, but hands-free devices would be accepted.
Illinois Laws Against Texting and Driving
Unlike Missouri, Illinois has a strict no texting and driving law that became effective in 2014 and violating that law can be costly. A first violation for this offense is $120 and can increase with multiple violations depending on if you were driving in a school zone, etc.
Texting while in a car in Illinois only permitted if the vehicle is pulled off of the road and onto the shoulder. All cell phone use, except for legitimate emergencies, is prohibited for drivers they are under 18 years old. If you are under 18 and driving, it’s best to turn off your phone and put it away so you are protected in case you are in an accident. Drivers over the age of 18 are permitted to conduct cell phone conversations, but only with the use of a hands-free device. Hand-held cell phone usage while driving illegal for all drivers in the state.
Were You Injured in A Car Accident Involving Distracted Driving?
Auto accidents can cause serious injuries. Yearly, thousands of people are injured during car wreck accidents, many of which are caused by distracted driving. Were you injured because of someone else’s distracted driving? Whether you live in Missouri or Illinois, you may be entitled to compesnsation.
If you have been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact a knowledge auto accident attorney right away. Contact Chassaniol & Marty, LLC today to schedule a free consultation at 636-486-4861 or fill out our contact form with any questions you may have.
No text is important enough to put someone else in anger. We urge drivers to make use of hands-free technologies and share this information with their friends and family.