Like all states, Illinois struggles with distracted driving and the effects it has on the state. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in the state and the rest of America. It takes only a few seconds of looking away from the road to drift out of a lane or fail to stop.
In the spring of 2019, CBS Chicago identified Kane Country as one of the riskiest counties in Illinois to drive. The county experienced a higher-than-normal rate of fatal crashes and injuries. The police identified distracted driving as the leading cause of crashes in the area.
The effects of distracted driving
Police officers say it is often difficult to tell the difference between a texting driver and an intoxicated one. Both drivers display similar road use behaviors and increase the risk of driving for themselves and others. The officers who contributed to the article also stated that texting and driving doubled the likelihood of a car accident. They hoped a high visibility campaign would help to bring the numbers down.
Trooper in a truck
In Moline, state troopers took a drastically different approach by aiming for high visibility in a more literal sense. The Illinois State Police partnered with the Illinois Trucking Association to put troopers in semi-trucks. The higher vantage point allows officers to look down into vehicles and see with greater certainty when drivers use devices while driving.
The officers also believe that if people started to think twice about whether police officers are in semi-trucks, they might exercise better caution on the roads. This includes not just texting and driving but monitoring their driving behaviors around trucks more closely.