A recent study confirmed what many Cook County, Illinois, residents already know intuitively, which is that a person who is using his or her cell phone behind the wheel stands a greater chance of getting in to a car accident than someone who is driving free of distractions.
The study pinpointed texting and driving as a particularly risky behavior, especially since it involves use of the eyes and hands. However, there was some indication that even using a cell phone that is not hands free increased the risk of car accidents.
What makes this study unique is that it attempted to isolate other variables that may contribute to a crash by attempting to compare drivers operating under otherwise similar conditions except that some choose to use cell phones and others do not. The end result is that fewer crashes were attributed directly to cell phone use than was originally thought, although the habit still obviously made collisions much more likely.
People who are distracted by their cell phones while driving are more likely to have an accident, and how serious those accidents will be is largely a matter of chance. While one hopes such wrecks end only with cars getting banged up, many end with someone getting seriously hurt or killed.
If an Illinois resident gets hurt in an accident, and he or she has reason to believe the other driver was on his or her phone at the time, then that person may have legal options available to him or her. Using a cell phone while driver is, after all, preventable behavior that increases the likelihood of an accident and, as such, is arguably negligent behavior for which compensation is available.