Aggressive, Distracted and Drowsy Driving
Illinois law prohibits the use of handheld cellphones and sending or reading electronic communications (text messages) while operating a motor vehicle. The use of hands free or Blue Tooth cellphone technology is allowed by persons over age 18.
Even using hands-free technology is considered a distraction while driving and can be dangerous. If you must make a phone call, even if you have hands-free technology, it is recommended that you pull off to the side of the road before making the call.
Illinois drivers are only exempt from cell phone use and text messaging while driving when:
- Reporting an emergency situation.
- Parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
- Stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the vehicle is in neutral or park.
Drivers who are in a crash resulting from distracted driving may face criminal penalties and incarceration
Another hazard of roadway driving is drowsiness. Lack of sleep, fatigue or inattentiveness affects your ability to safely operate your vehicle. When taking a long trip, avoid drowsiness by stopping frequently to drink coffee, exercise or nap. Exercise your eyes by reading road signs or shifting the focus of your eyes to different parts of the roadway. Make sure you are properly rested.
Aggressive driving is the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property. Persons doing any of the following may be committing acts of aggressive driving and pose risk of a crash:
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Passing on the shoulder of the road
- Cutting off another vehicle
- Slamming on brakes in front of a tailgater
- Improper hand or facial gestures at other drivers
- Repeatedly honking the horn
- Repeatedly flashing the headlights
Avoid aggressive drivers and potentially dangerous situations. If you encounter an angry or aggressive motorist:
- Do not retaliate or in any way engage the other driver. Get out of the way.
- Do not make eye contact.
- Keep your doors locked and your windows up.
- Keep enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you to pull out from behind.
- Do not underestimate a driver's potential for aggression.