Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Comment on Report about ‘Safe Phone Zones’ for Drivers

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Oak Park personal injury attorneys at Coplan & Crane weigh in on a news article detailing a plan to keep drivers focused on the road instead of their smartphones and GPS devices.

The ‘safe phone zone’ plan will save lives. A driver tempted to text while driving might see a sign on the Tollway and make the responsible decision to pull over before picking up their smart phone.

Today Chicago car accident lawyers at Coplan & Crane welcomed the state’s plan to install signs encouraging drivers to pull over to a safe location if they want to text, check the internet or make phone calls as an important effort to reduce distracted driving.

Attorneys Gregory F. Coplan and Benjamin A. Crane of Oak Park-based Coplan & Crane commented on a March 30 news report in the Chicago Sun-Times about the initiative which was launched in April, officially designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month (Chicago Sun-Times: “Signs directing drivers to ‘Safe Phone Zones’ to be erected in April”).

According to the Sun-Times, the Illinois Tollway plan calls for erecting signs in April for six roadside “Safe Phone Zones.” State officials say these six oases will provide a location for drivers to stop their vehicles and use their gadgets. The safe locations on the Tri-State Tollway are at the Lake Forest, O’Hare, Hinsdale and South Holland oases. In addition, the state has created safe phone zone locations at the Belvidere oasis on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I90), and the DeKalb oasis on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I88).

Attorney Coplan said these safe phone zones may stop some drivers from engaging in negligent behavior. “Even though Illinois bans the use of hand-held devices while driving, we know some drivers ignore the law and make dangerous choices,” Coplan said. “We have represented victims who were seriously injured because of drivers who were not focusing on the road ahead of them. We have seen the devastating impact of distracted driving. That’s why we call for stronger laws and initiatives to prevent people from driving while distracted. The ‘safe phone zone’ plan will save lives. A driver tempted to text while driving might see a sign on the Tollway and make the responsible decision to pull over before picking up their smart phone.”

Despite the safe phone zone initiative, Attorney Crane said he was concerned some motorists still might be tempted to use a phone or GPS while driving. To resist such temptation, Coplan & Crane offered tips for drivers:

  • Switch the phone to silent or “airplane mode.”
  • Turn off the phone completely.
  • Put the phone where it’s out of sight and out of mind, like in the glove box or the trunk.
  • Download and use one of the apps designed to stop texting and driving.

“One of our tips has always been to pull over to a safe location if a driver absolutely needs to use the phone,” Crane said. “However, a safe location sometimes can be hard to find. The state’s plan will make pulling over an easier decision.”

According to the Sun-Times, the safe phone zones will be inside oases pavilions which will have free Wi-Fi.

Coplan and Crane said anyone who is injured or who loses a loved one in an accident should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help hold the negligent driver accountable. The attorneys said victims of distracted driving accidents may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver.

About Coplan & Crane
Serving clients in Oak Park, Chicago and all of Illinois, Coplan & Crane handles a wide range of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, railroad accidents, workplace injuries, dangerous products, medical malpractice and birth injuries. The law firm has a strong track record for obtaining large verdicts and settlements, including several, high-profile, multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts. A free consultation is available to all interested clients. The law firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means people only pay if they win. If you need help after an accident, contact the firm today.

Coplan & Crane
1111 Westgate St
Oak Park, IL 60301
(708) 358-8080
http://www.coplancrane.com

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