April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and more than 100 local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to remind drivers to drop their phones, slow down, and drive safe.
Motorists will see increased patrols and enforcement zones across Illinois throughout the month. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will focus on ticketing drivers who text or use their cellphones while driving.
Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 3,166 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017.
“Every day, you can look out your car window and see a distracted driver using their cellphone,” said Sheriff John Idleburg. “There is a direct correlation between driving distracted and being involved in a traffic crash. While we don’t enjoy writing tickets, we do it to save lives – so expect to receive a traffic ticket if our deputies see you texting and driving.”
Texting while driving distracts a driver visually, manually and cognitively. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the length of an entire football field.
The Distracted Driving enforcement campaign is supported through federal funds administered by IDOT.