A motorcylist was killed Saturday evening in Lake Zurich when she was hit by a car. The motorcyclist was stopped at an intersection wating for a light was she was hit from behind at a high rate of speed. The force of the collision threw her several hundred feet from the point of impact. The reason that the driver of the car did not slow for the stopped motorcycle ahead of her is that she was painting her nails while driving.Painting your nails while driving is an especially egregious form of distracted driving, but it is far from the only one that people engage in behind the wheel. Other forms of distracted driving include eating, talking on the phone, text messaging, entering directions into a GPS, and switching CD’s or the radio station.Distracted driving causes thousands of car accidents every year. Reliable statistics really do not exist because there is not a standard way of reporting them yet. Nonetheless stories like this one are in the news frequently enough that it is clear that this is a significant problem.Distracted driving cases are different from standard car accident lawsuits in that we can present a clear choice that someone made instead of a simple error. The Illinois wrongful death suit that will follow this fatal motorcycle accident raises this issue. Juries tend to view a choice to paint your nails (or eat or talk on the cell phone, etc.) very differently than misjudging your stopping distance and rear-ending someone. Even though the question of liability is supposed to be separate from damages, it frequently impacts their assessment of damages. As experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers we know this (and insurance companies know this also), and this impacts how we approach issues of settlement in distracted driving car accident cases.