Numerous published reports confirm that accidents caused by distracted drivers have surpassed those caused by drunk drivers, and driver distraction has become the number one cause of traffic collision fatalities. Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on Ohio roadways, especially with motorists increasingly using their cell phones while driving. Yet cell phones are just one cause of distracted driving. Motorists also take their eyes off the road while eating, drinking, smoking, caring for children and pets, and while looking at GPS maps to find a destination.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has frequently reminded drivers that taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds at 55 miles per hour is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. The Centers for Disease Control reports that each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are hurt in traffic collisions that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
So, how dangerous is distracted driving? A NHSTSA study concluded that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Other studies have found very similar results. Active testing has shown that drivers in the act of texting have significantly slower reaction times than those who are intoxicated. Some studies have shown that that texting drivers react 23 percent slower than intoxicated drivers do.
And the dangers of distracted driving are also underreported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cautioned that statistics on distracted driver crashes may not represent the true size of the issue, because identifying distractions and their role in traffic collisions may be difficult. Surveys of drivers have revealed that “self-reporting of negative behavior is lower than actual occurrence of that negative behavior. There is no reason to believe that self-reporting of distracted driving to a law enforcement officer would differ” (from An Examination of Driver Distraction as Recorded in NHTSA Databases).
In Ohio, Section 4511.204 of the Ohio Revised Code allows police officers to issue tickets to drivers who are texting or talking on a cell phone. This law enhances the penalties for any moving violation where the driver committed the violation while “distracted.” Drivers who receive the distracted driving enhancement usually have $100 added to the fine. They may elect to take a distracted driving safety course to be excused from paying the enhancement fine.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
A serious injury or the devastating loss of a loved one is emotionally and financially life-changing. If you were involved in a collision with a distracted driver, GBM Law can help. Our Ohio personal injury law firm has more than 30 years of experience handling distracted driving cases. We know how insurance companies delay claims, deny payments and defend their decisions to pay out as little as possible. Our knowledgeable attorneys are experienced, compassionate, and dedicated to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve. Before you accept any insurance compensation offer, speak with a member of our team about your options. We offer a free consultation to provide practical guidance based on our experiences, and answer any questions about your case, such as how much it may be worth.
A statute of limitations applies to all personal injury claims, which limits the amount of time you have to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim in Ohio. To protect your rights, and evidence important to your claim, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Damages available in a personal injury claim may include:
Lost earnings / loss of earning capacity;
Loss of life’s joys;
Pain and suffering; and
Other accident related expenses.
As part of our contingency fee agreement, we are only paid unless we recover money for you. Call us today at (877)706-6446.