For many people, driving a car is a fact of life. Even though many people drive a car, at some point most drivers will park their vehicle, walk and may even have to cross streets to get to their final destination. Alhough most of us do not think about it, at any point during our driving, walking and crossing, an accident could occur and cause serious injuries or even death.
Car accidents can occur in a blink of an eye but change the lives of victims forever. Distracted driving, unfortunately, leads to car accidents each year. Over 3,300 victims were killed in both 2011 and 2012 in distraction-related car crashes and 421,000 victims were injured in distraction-related car crashes in 2012. Car accidents can leave victims with medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages or worse.
With car accidents so common in Illinois and elsewhere in the United States, government officials and agencies that are responsible for preventing them whenever possible continually examine data from around the country to determine their main causes. For decades the primary causes were known to be drunk driving, failure to observe traffic regulations and sleep deprivation. However, in the past two decades distracted driving has become extremely common and is now considered a leading cause of all car accidents. Among the most common distracted driving behaviors are the use of cellphones and smartphones to send and receive voice and text messages.
Distracted driving is a growing concern here in Kane County, Illinois, and on roadways all over the country because texting while driving causes accidents. A Chicago Tribune editorial column recently addressed the problem, stating that the current penalty for texting Illinois drivers is not enough to deter this dangerous behavior. Perhaps it's time for Illinois to levy stiffer sanctions for distracted driving. Otherwise, the next time a texting driver presses the "send" button, it may be more than a message that is sent. The driver also could be sending a motorist to the hospital or worse, to his or her death.