Illinois law bans almost all use of hand-held cell phones while operating motor vehicles. All drivers are banned from texting while driving, and teens 18 years old and younger are not even allowed to use hands-free devices while operating motor vehicles.
Illinois is among the growing ranks of states that ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. While supporters of such bans contend it reduces driver distractions, opponents counter that talking on hand-held cell phones is no less dangerous than fiddling with a car’s audio system, eating burgers, or even talking on hands-free cell phones. These opponents say it is up to drivers to make sure they are driving safely, not up to police to pull over and cite otherwise safe drivers spotted using hand-held cell phones. Nevertheless, it has been illegal since 2013 to use a hand-held cell phone while driving in Illinois.
Despite the push to regulate cell phone use on the roads, research is murky as to whether requiring hands-free devices make roads safer. Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is funded by the insurance industry, have found little difference between drivers who use hand-held cell phones and those who use hands-free devices.