It is something we are likely all guilty of – driving while distracted. You replied to a text, answered a phone call, changed the radio station, ate or drank, had a conversation with a passenger, or even reached for something that required you to glance away from the road for a mere second. While some of these are a more obvious danger than others, they are all a form of distracted driving and are a growing problem in our country. In 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 17,827 crashes in Ohio that reportedly occurred due to a distraction. This resulted in 44 fatalities and 5,958 injuries.
In an effort to combat one of the newer distractions on the road, Ohio law banned all electronic wireless communication devices for drivers under the age of 18. The law also states that texting while driving is illegal for drivers of any age. Ohio is not the only state to have enacted such laws. 48 states have either full or partial texting while driving bans and 14 states banned talking on a hand-held phone while driving.
Given the higher rate of teen drivers involved in distraction-related accidents, it explains why new laws have an emphasis on younger drivers. According to the NHTSA, a survey of nearly 2,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 revealed that 86% of them drove distracted and 84% of them acknowledged they knew it was dangerous. Over 50% of teens claim that texting and paying attention to the road is easy. Unfortunately, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of death among teenagers.
You can do your part to reduce the threat of distracted driving. First, eliminate or reduce distractions by doing things like turning off your phone while driving or at least using hands free features. Constantly educate and remind those you love, especially teenage drivers, of the risk to themselves and others created by distracted driving. You can also direct them to examples of the tragedy caused by distracted driving as well as informative materials and training on how to avoid distracted driving such as are being made available by The Maria Tiberi Foundation.
At Rourke & Blumenthal, we have a team of skilled Columbus car accident lawyers ready to fight for your legal rights. If you were injured in an auto accident, rest assured that no matter how complex your case is, we can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Our legal team has over 75 years of combined experience and have recovered more than $300 million on behalf of our clients.
Call us today for a free consultation at 614-321-3212.