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Personal injury: Distracted driving places lives at risk

Motor vehicle accidents have been occurring on Illinois interstates and roadways since they day they were built. Despite years of learning best practices to maintain safety for everyone involved, accidents that result in personal injury and death continue to occur on a daily basis. Despite laws, flashing lights, signs and education, motor vehicle drivers often place firefighters and other emergency worker lives at risk when they drive distracted near an accident.

One Illinois firefighter explained personal stories of the fear he faces every time he or any of his crew responds to a collision on the interstate. Recently, firemen responded to a fatal crash on the interstate and placed their large red trucks with flashing lights near the crash, in addition to bright orange cones. He explained that despite all the warning signs, drivers were not paying attention, and two of the cones were destroyed by other drivers.

The "Move Over" law requires drivers to move into another lane, if possible, and slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle. The law is designed to prevent death and injury to emergency response personnel due to distracted driving. Unfortunately, many do not see the warnings to move into other lanes in a timely manner. In addition, many drivers continue to use their cellphones to call, text or take pictures as they are driving, resulting in dangerous distraction.

If a collision occurs and results in serious personal injury or death, drivers may not be aware that they can be held responsible for distracted driving. In some cases, individuals may face charges in criminal court as well as a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death in civil court. Many accident victims, including the surviving families of deceased victims, rely upon the advice and support of an Illinois attorney in the aftermath of a serious motor vehicle crash.

Source:, "Firefighters urge caution near accident scenes", May 29, 2018

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