On behalf of Mike Clancy
Distracted driving (specifically texting while driving) has become more infamous than drunk driving in Chicago. So much so that Illinois has made texting while driving a crime punishable by a hefty fine. Even in light of the criminal penalties, more drivers believe that offending drivers should pay more for insurance if they get caught sending texts behind the wheel.
According to a survey conducted by CarInsurance.com, more than 1,000 drivers indicated that they would prefer if texting drivers paid more in insurance.
Specifically, if a driver is convicted of texting while driving, the offense should be reported to the insurance company so that it may raise rates, in the same way that companies increase premiums on drivers caught for speeding more than 10 miles over the speed limit.
In fact, a majority of drivers surveyed indicated that texting drivers should have stiffer penalties than drivers who speed. Also half of drivers surveyed believed that drivers who installed a cellphone disabling device should be eligible for an insurance discount. While this seems to be a good idea, not very many states are offering such a discount. (Illinois currently does not).
Nevertheless, Illinois drivers have a legal duty to use reasonable care when operating their vehicles on state roads and highways. Texting while driving represents a breach of this care, and a texting violation can be used as evidence of such a breach. If an accident ensues an offending driver could be held liable.
If you have questions about your rights and options after being hit by a driver you suspect was texting behind the wheel, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
Source: MSN.com, Survey: Put the hammer to texters, a majority think texters should pay more for car insurance, May 13, 2013