“Hands-free” Law in Illinois and Minnesota -- Why You Should Follow

On August 1, Minnesota became the 19th state to enforce a ban on handheld phone usage while operating a vehicle (with the expectation of making an emergency call). They are quick to follow Illinois, who became hands-free earlier in 2019. All offenders will face a first citation fee of $50, increased to $275 for each subsequent offense. Three offenses in one year and your license can be suspended.

These laws mean no texting, talking, accessing apps, etc., unless with hands-free phone technology such as Bluetooth. It is also illegal to text or talk while holding a device when sitting in traffic, at a red light or stop sign.

Although Wisconsin has not yet implemented a hands-free law, but the dangers associated with using electronic devices while driving are staggering.

In Wisconsin in 2018, five accidents were caused by distracted driving every hour, for a total of 46,809 accidents during in the year. It takes about 4.6 seconds to glance down at your phone, the equivalent of a football field length of road at 55 mph.

It is hard not to pick up your phone when you hear it ring or a text message comes through. The best way to prevent cellphone distraction on the road is to leave your phone in your purse or pocket while driving.

If you have a newer vehicle, it is very likely you have Bluetooth technology that connects with your phone. Check your owners manual to figure out how to set it up. There are also smartphone apps that prevent drivers from receiving calls and texts while driving. You can configure them so that the sender will receive a message stating that you on the road.

When on the road, your focus should be first and foremost on driving. No text message is worth a life. The personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham hope that you will take the advice of the hands-free laws in other states.

The attorneys at Hupy and Abraham work hard to spread the DNT TXT N DRV message throughout the community to inform and educate drivers of the dangers that distracted driving poses to everyone on the road. Help spread the message and get your own DNT TXT N DRV bumper sticker here.

In the event that you or a loved one are injured by a distracted driver, please contact Hupy and Abraham, S.C. for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat 24/7 at Hupy.com.

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