Electronic devices such as cell phones make “staying in touch” easy and convenient. There is, however, a downside to this convenience. Electronic devices can lead to distracted driving, which is a major cause of vehicle accidents. If you are driving in Illinois, it is essential that you understand Illinois cell phone laws.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident that involved talking or texting on cell phones, contact an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney to find out what your legal options are.
Illinois Cell Phone & Driving Laws
If you are driving in Illinois, you should be aware that:
- Anyone under the age of 19, regardless of whether the person only has a permit to drive or a full driver’s license, may not drive while talking on a cell phone.
- Cell phone use is prohibited while driving in a school zone.
Illinois is one of the states that allow cities or municipalities to regulate a limited number of traffic laws, including Illinois cell phone laws. In Chicago, it is illegal to drive and talk on a cell phone unless you are using a hands-free device.There are exceptions to the Illinois cell phone laws so that drivers can respond to emergency situations. A driver may use a cell phone to deal with an emergency situation when:
- Contacting the police;
- Contacting the fire department;
- Contacting a health car provider; or
- Contacting other emergency services entity.
Additionally, a person who is engaged in a highway construction or maintenance project within a construction speed zone, law enforcement agents, and emergency personnel may use cell phones for work-related purposes while driving.
Regardless of the law, your best bet for your own safety, the safety of others in your vehicle, and the safety of other drivers is to pull over to the side of the road and stop before talking on your cell phone or to let a passenger do all of the talking for you.
Illinois Cell Phone Laws & Electronic Communication Devices
In addition to Illinois cell phone laws relating to talking on a cell phone while driving, Illinois also has laws relating to the use of any electronic communication device while you are driving. These laws cover a number of different electronic devices that might be used in a vehicle, including:
- Cell phones;
- Personal digital assistants (PDAs); and
- Personal computers.
Illinois Cell Phone Laws & Texting Texting is when an electronic communication device is used to write, send or read an electronic message. It is against the law to send text or electronic messages in any form while driving anywhere in Illinois. This applies to all age groups across the board. Exceptions to the law include:
- Communicating with emergency personnel to report an emergency or accident;
- When a driver is stopped in normal traffic with the vehicle set in park or neutral; and
- When a vehicle is pulled to the side of the road and stopped.
Illinois Cell Phone Laws & GPS Devices
It is legal to use global positioning service (GPS) devices while driving in Illinois. GPS devices allow drivers to receive directions to their destinations while driving. In addition to GPS devices, drivers can use any electronic devices that are factory installed in their vehicles. In other words, if you bought your vehicle with an electronic device already installed, the device is legal to use while driving in Illinois.
Contacting a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been involved in a car accident in Illinois that is related to cell phone usage or texting, an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you determine your options for seeking compensation.
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. have years of experience representing victims of car accidents in the Chicago area. Contact us today for a FREE case evaluation – 312-263-1080