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Illinois Car Insurance: Cell Phone Law - Better Safe Than Sorry

By Insurance.com Posted : 04/05/2007

Over the past decade, cell phones have evolved from luxury items to absolute necessities for most on-the-go Americans. Consumers now use cell phones not only for business and personal calls but also to text message, take pictures, and even listen to their favorite music. The omnipresent nature of cell phones is not, however, without a price as the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA)estimates cell phone-related car accidents are on the rise with distracted drivers causing over 25% of all police-reported traffic accidents.

Concerned with the impact of cell phone use on driving safety, Illinois lawmakers have enacted cell phone laws banning the following types of drivers from using cell phones while driving:

  • Learner`s permit holders
  • Drivers younger than 18 years old
  • School bus drivers

While there is no state-wide ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving, Illinois is one of five states that allow localities to ban cell phone use while driving (the others being Massachusetts, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania). Accordingly, drivers in Illinois must be mindful of posted cell phone regulations as they travel from city to city, jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In Chicago, for instance, hand-held cell phone use has been banned altogether with a current fine of $50 per infraction.

If you must use your cell phone in the car, safety experts recommend that you follow the following guidelines:

  • Use a hands-free phone
  • Keep your eyes on the road at all times
  • Never dial while driving
  • Avoid using your phone in bad weather or heavy traffic
  • Avoid stressful conversations while driving
  • Never look up phone numbers while driving

For the latest information on Illinois` cell phone laws as well as the cell phone laws of other states, please visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the Governors Highway Safety Association.

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