Distracted driving in Ohio can be deadly and accounts for too many car accidents, serious injuries, and deaths every year. At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, our Sandusky car accident attorneys have put together some important details about distracted driving accidents in Ohio, but if you’re hurt, we can do more.
The law may let you recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to your accident. Let us review what happened, explain your rights, and work to get everything you deserve.
Initial Consultations are free and there are no up-front costs. We only get paid when you recover compensation. Call (419) 625-7770 today to discuss your case.
Distracted Driving Car Accidents
Distracted driving is deadly. In 2018, 2,841 lives were lost nationwide due to distracted driving, and 52 of those fatalities were Ohioans.
In Ohio, those deaths resulted from 13,876 distracted driving-related crashes, the Ohio Department of Transportation reported. Authorities believe distracted driving accidents are actually much higher because it is largely under reported. However, the numbers already reflect a 15% increase in distracted driving crashes from 2013.
Ohio Distracted Driving Laws
Ohio currently has two laws prohibiting distracted driving. One specifically bars texting while driving and the other expanded the activities that constitute distracted driving.
Under the texting statute, drivers over 18 can be ticketed and fined $150 for texting while driving as a secondary offense. In other words you can’t be stopped solely for texting while driving. Drivers under 18, however, can be pulled over for texting while driving as a primary offense. They face a fine plus loss of driving privileges, so it is even more serious when minors text and drive.
Distracted driving in Ohio now includes any activity not necessary to vehicle operation that impairs driver’s ability to drive safely. This includes eating, handing things to passengers, care for children in back seat, changing radio or using a cell phone. However, the police may not use this statute as a primary offense.
Although the laws around distracted driving in Ohio were just expanded in 2019, a bill strengthening the law again was introduced by Gov. DeWine in February 2020. Called “Hands-Free Ohio,” if passed the law would make distracted driving a primary offense and broadens prohibited behavior with smart phones to include: “writing, sending, or reading text-based communications; watching or recording videos; taking photos or looking at images; livestreaming; using apps; entering information into GPS navigation programs; dialing phone numbers; or holding a device for a phone call.”
Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics
- 90% of people are concerned about distracted driving, according to a AAA survey, but 39% admit doing it.
- On average sending or reading a text takes the driver’s eyes from the road for five seconds, which if driving 55 mph, is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed, NTHSA reported.
- A University of Utah study found that people are as impaired when they drive and talk on a cell phone as they are when they drive intoxicated at the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08%. The same study said cell phone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers.
- Text messaging increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times, according to the Virginia Technical Transportation Institute.
Hurt by Distracted Driving? Call Us Today
Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, has helped residents of Sandusky, Port Clinton, Mansfield, and Vermilion received compensation for the damages from vehicle accidents for decades. With distracted driving increasing, there’s a chance you could become part of these statistics. If that happens, you need experienced car accident attorneys to fight for your legal rights while you recover.
Consultations are free. Call (419) 625-7770 for a free, no-risk consultation.