Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which, at 60 miles per hour, is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blind. I have quoted that stat before, but people can’t seem to remember it when they a racing down a highway or expressway as they text. It only takes a split second to change a life forever.
Here’s another stat that deserves repeating, nine people are killed in car accidents every day as a result of driver distraction. Every time I recite these statistics it just sends shivers down my spine when I think how often someone is killed because a driver thought texting, eating, grooming, reaching for something in the backseat, or whatever, was more important than focusing on the road ahead. But of all the distractions, it’s no surprise than that 23% of all accidents are due to texting while driving. As a result law enforcement officers are continuing to step up their efforts to prevent texting while driving across the country.
Police officers in the state of Illinois are preparing to issue more tickets to drivers that are caught either talking or texting on their cellphones, or any electronic devices for that matter, on Illinois roadways. While texting has been banned in Illinois for quite some time now, talking on a cellphone will be part of the statewide ban and violators will be issued some big penalties for the infraction.
It will be curious to see if motorists will fear those red flashing lights as state patrol step up their efforts and issue more citations. Perhaps Illinois needs to take a cue from New York and increase penalties under the DMV’s point system. If education and legislation don’t force drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, perhaps the thought of facing hefty fines and losing their driving privileges just might be the ticket.