Brendan KellyThe Illinois State Police say there is a disturbing trend in crashes, and deadly crashes, in the state.

More drivers are distracted while behind the wheel.. 

The head of the Illinois State Police said troopers have noticed more drivers who are not paying attention while on the road.

State Police Director Brendan Kelly said distracted driving is playing a role in more crashes, including fatal ones, each year. 

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"I don't know why that is," Kelly said. "Is it because they are watching Netflix on their phone while they are cruising down the highway? Is it because they are distracted by other things? I don't know."

Kelly told lawmakers that he has noticed a surge in the number of truckers in the state who are distracted as well. 

"The amount of truckers and other individuals on the road that seem to have no sense of awareness around them whatsoever, that there was an Illinois State Police vehicle behind them with their lights and sirens on," Kelly said. "It's like they didn't hear it. It's like they're on another planet."

So far this year, 16 Illinois State Troopers have been hit while they were stopped on the side of the road. Three of them died. 

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