April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) has issued a reminder to drivers this month, urging them to avoid distractions and keep their eyes on the road while behind the wheel.
Distracted drivers are dangerously common, and their bad habits are causing accidents and fatalities across the country. Over 3,175 distracted driving deaths occurred in 2014.
Distracted driving is a widespread problem throughout the country, and Ohio is no exception. In 2015, there were 13,261 distracted driving crashes in Ohio, 39 of which were fatal.
Currently, Ohio has a law that prohibits texting and driving for all motorists in the state, and drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone in any way while driving. However, despite laws against cellphone use while driving, accidents and fatalities caused by distracted driving is on the rise. The number of reported distracted drivers rose 11 percent from 2014 to 2015.
Texting Is A Fatal Problem
Distracted driving is defined as participating in any non-driving task when behind the wheel, such as texting, eating, applying make-up or interacting with passengers. Distracted driving increases crash risk by 66 percent, and distractions come in many forms:
- Visual distractions pull eyes from the roadway
- Manual distractions take a driver’s hands off the wheel
- Cognitive distractions cause drivers to think about something other than driving
Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions, as the activity causes drivers to become distracted in all three manners. According to the OSHP, each time a driver sends or reads a text, their eyes leave the road an average of 4.6 seconds. When driving at 55 miles per hour while texting, a driver can travel the length of a football field without focusing on driving or looking at the road.
Have you been injured in a distracted driving accident? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today for a free legal consultation.