Illinois car and truck accident attorneys in investigating the causes of vehicular crashes should always consider the possibility that one of the drivers was texting, emailing or on a cell phone at the time of the colllision. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) published a study indicating that driving daylight hours 11% -or 1.8 million drivers-were on the cell phone.
The National Safety Council has called for a total ban on cellphone use while driving because their research showed more than 100 million people are engaged in this activity everyday and that cellphone use has caused 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries, and 2,600 deaths each year.
Texting while driving has been found by a recent study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to result in a 23 times greater risk of a crash. An Illinois law passed earlier this month will ban: texting, emailing, or websurfing while driving. This law will become effective January 1, 2010. This is a step in the right direction! Cell phone use while driving should similarly be banned.
In representing crash victims we should always investigate cell phone use, texting, or emailing as potential causes. Subpoena to the cell phone provider can provide dates, times, and numbers of phones called, texted or emailed. After suit is filed discovery request should be tailored to specifically inquire as to all cell phone or email providers so that the appropriate subpoenas can be served. Comprehensive subpoenas, requests for production, and depositions can shed a great deal of light on an otherwise difficult crash investigation and can result in securing a fair compensation to the crash victims we represent.