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Drive Now. Text Later. You can’t do both

June 23, 2011
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably seen somebody texting while driving in the past month.
 
A recent Consumer Reports survey found that nearly two-thirds of survey respondents had seen drivers in other vehicles texting on a cell phone or other mobile device in the past 30 days. More than half of the respondents had seen a dangerous situation related to a distracted driver.
January 1, 2011, marked the first anniversary of the state law that bans texting while driving in Illinois. However, a recent online survey indicated that 40 percent of Illinois Tollway customers did not know that it is illegal to text or e-mail at any time while driving on Illinois roads.
 
That’s why the Illinois Tollway, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, Illinois Secretary of State and AAA Chicago are urging drivers to “Drive Now. Text Later.” The statewide campaign is raising awareness of the dangers of texting while driving in an effort to reduce the number of cell phone-related accidents on Illinois roadways.
 
The vast majority of Consumer Reports’ survey respondents – 90 percent – believe texting while driving is very dangerous. About half considered using a handheld phone very dangerous. But while 60 percent said they are very concerned about distracted driving, almost a quarter of all respondents reported that it hasn't led them to reduce or stop such behavior.
 
In Illinois, preliminary 2010 data indicate that cell phone distractions, including texting, were the primary or secondary cause of more than 1,100 crashes
 
Nationally, nearly 5,500 people died in 2009 in distracted driving-related crashes and nearly half a million people were injured.
 
An estimated 28 percent of all traffic crashes — about 1.6 million a year — are linked to motorists texting or talking on cell phones.
 
Unfortunately, texting while driving is a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon, so getting others on board will make the roads safer for all of us.
 
Please visit www.illinoistollway.com to learn more about our campaign and how to avoid distracted driving.
 
And, Drive Now. Text Later. You can’t do both.

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