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April is Distracted Driving Month

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as "...any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving." All distractions endanger the driver, passengers, and any other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists that may be in close range. Typical distractions include activities such as texting, talking on a cell phone, eating/drinking, grooming, reading maps, and adjusting the car radio.

It against the law in Illinois for any driver, regardless of age, to text while driving a vehicle. It is also against the law for any driver to talk on a wireless phone when driving in a school zone or construction zone. No driver under the age of 19 may use a wireless phone when driving a vehicle on the road.

Facts

  • Teen drivers are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported.
  • 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver was using a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.
  • Drivers using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into an injury crash.
  • Drivers that text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash.
  • Using a cell phone while driving, regardless if it is hands-free, delays a driver's reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the legal limit for drunk driving. 
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

The Downers Grove Police Department reminds our citizens that driving is a complex task that demands the driver's full attention. When you are distracted, you put your life, as well as everyone else in or near your car, at risk. Help us keep our streets safe for everyone - don't drive distracted!

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