Effective January 1, 2010, text messaging and driving is now illegal in Illinois. Drivers who are caught doing so can now receive a traffic ticket. Reading a text message or e-mail is also illegal, as is talking on a hand held device in a school zone or road construction zone.The purpose of the new laws is to cut down on the incidence of distracted driving. Even though these acts have now officially been declared illegal, distracted driving was a basis for civil liability for a car accident before the new statutes. To recover in an Illinois car accident suit, the injured party needed to show that the other driver failed to exercise reasonable care in the operation of his vehicle. Driving while distracted did not comport to that standard prior to the passage of the new statute.