Distractions pose a deadly risk for Ohio drivers, others

Drivers face a number of manual, visual and cognitive distractions that may increase their risk of crashing, which may result in serious injuries or death.

Drivers today are faced with a range of manual, visual and cognitive distractions while on the roads in Ohio and elsewhere. These activities may comprise their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, which may increase their risk of being involved in a collision. In fact, Distraction.gov reports that distracted drivers caused crashes resulting in 431,000 injuries and 3,179 deaths in 2014 alone. The problem of driver distractions is, at least in part, because drivers fail to recognize some behaviors as disrupting, and thus, a potential hazard.

What are manual distractions?

Manual distractions are activities that take one or both of a driver's hands off of the steering wheel. This may include something as simple as changing the radio station or adjusting its volume. Eating and drinking while driving are also common manual distractions. When people do not have both hands on the steering wheel, it may compromise their control of the vehicle, and they may not be able to maneuver their vehicles to avoid emergency situations or hazards that may arise on the road.

What are visual distractions?

Activities that cause drivers to look anywhere other than the road are considered visual distractions. Checking on the kids in the backseat, changing the song on their playlist, using the navigation system or watching a video may all take a driver's eyes off of the road. When people are not watching the road in front of them and the vehicles around them, they may not see hazards or changes in the driving conditions in time to avoid crashing.

What are cognitive distractions?

Motorists can be distracted even if their hands are on the wheel and their eyes are on the road. Cognitive distractions are activities that take people's mind off of the task of driving. This may include talking on a cellphone or to a passenger, listening to a podcast or being preoccupied with other issues. If people are not focused on driving, they may be more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident, which could result in serious injuries or death.

Who is at risk for distracted driving?

In general, anyone who engages in activities that are not directly involved with operating their motor vehicles may be at risk for distracted driving. However, there is one group for whom the risk may be greater. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the highest proportion of fatal distracted driving collisions occurs among motorists who are under 20-years-old.

Obtaining legal representation

Due to distraction-related accidents in Ohio, people may suffer serious injuries. In situations when they require medical treatment as a result, they may incur undue medical expenses and lose their wages while they are off of work recovering. In some circumstances, the distracted drivers may be held liable for these, and other resulting damages. Thus, it may be helpful for those who have experienced situations such as this to discuss their case with an attorney to learn more about their options for seeking compensation.