CDC Report: Distracted driving causes nine deaths every day
According to a report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents attributed to distracted driving result in nine traffic fatalities every day on our nation’s roadways – with an additional 1,060 people injured. Sadly, these tragedies continue to occur despite the fact that most states have enacted laws to eliminate driver distractions, such as texting bans for those behind the wheel.
Specifically, the report noted that in 2011 alone, 3,331 people were killed in collisions involving distracted drivers. Additionally, there were 387,000 people injured in distracted-driving accidents that same year. The most common distractions referenced in the report were those involving cellphone use, texting and eating.
Even more disturbing is the fact that these statistics merely represent the number of crashes that police actually attributed to distracted driving – meaning the actual percentage of distracted driving collisions may be substantially higher.
Relevant cellphone laws for Ohio drivers
As referenced above, the findings of this CDC report are particularly alarming given that most states already have laws aimed at reducing distracted driving accidents, including Ohio. For instance, drivers are expressly prohibited under Ohio law from using any “handheld electronic wireless communications device” – such as a cellphone or computer – to manually write, send or read text messages while driving a motor vehicle.
Unfortunately, however, these types of laws are not stopping drivers from engaging in the dangerous practice as the CDC reports that 31 percent of U.S. drivers admit that they have read or sent text messages and/or emails while driving.
Additionally, those in Ohio with a probationary driver’s license, or those under the age of 18 with a temporary instruction permit, cannot use a cellphone for any purpose while behind the wheel, including talking. Although, it is important to note that just because it may be legal for Ohio drivers over the age of 18 to talk on the phone while driving, that does not mean they cannot be held liable for injuries they cause while doing it – especially if they are doing so in a negligent manner.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a texting driver – or by a driver who was too involved with a phone call to pay attention to the road – it is often important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn what your rights and options may be given your circumstances. A knowledgeable attorney can help investigate the cause of your accident and assist in filing any possible claims.