With the prevalence of smart phones, distracted driving is more of a roadway hazard than ever before. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in 2015 alone, motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving led to nearly 3,500 deaths and 391,000 car accident injuries. Nationwide, distracted driving accounts for roughly 10 percent of traffic fatalities. In fact, some type of distraction led to nearly 80 percent of motor vehicle accidents.
There are three primary types of distractions for a driver, which include:
- Visual: Taking your eyes off the road.
- Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive: Taking your mind off of driving.
In addition to the use of electronic devices, such as cell phones, these distractions can take many forms, such as:
- Reaching for an object in the vehicle
- Adjusting the radio
- Talking or listening to passengers
- Reading and/or writing
- Eating, drinking, or smoking
In an attempt to combat the rising tide of injuries resulting from distracted drivers, 47 states – along with the District of Columbia – have banned text messaging for all drivers. In addition, 15 states – along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – have banned talking on a hand-held phone while behind the wheel. As our dependence on technology increases, it is unclear whether such legislative actions will stem the amount of accidents nationwide.
If a distracted driver has left you seriously injured, a personal injury attorney can help fight for your rights.
Distracted Driving in Ohio
In Ohio, drivers under the age of 18 are banned from all “electronic wireless communication device” usage. Texting and driving is illegal for everyone, but it’s treated as a secondary offense.
Despite these laws, in 2016, nearly 14,000 Ohio drivers got into an accident because they were distracted. Nearly 5,000 of those resulted in injuries to more than 7,200 people. Younger drivers are much more prone to distracted driving, especially when it involves their cell phone.
If you have suffered serious injuries in Ohio as a result of a distracted driver, a Burg Simpson injury attorney can help.
Distracted Driving in Kentucky
Kentucky has taken a much tougher approach to distracted driving. In 2010, Kentucky issued a statewide ban on texting and driving. Kentucky has also made texting and driving a primary offense, which means a law enforcement officer can stop any driver he or she sees texting behind the wheel. Kentucky also bans all cell phone use for drivers under the age of 18 and school bus drivers. Like Ohio, however, despite these laws, accidents involving distracted driving have seen a sharp increase over the past few years.
If you have suffered serious injuries in Kentucky as a result of a distracted driver, a Kentucky personal injury attorney from Burg Simpson Ohio can help.
Whether you have suffered a serious injury in Ohio or Kentucky as a result of a distracted driver, it is important that you get legal help as soon as possible to fight for your rights. Reach out to a personal injury accident attorney at Burg Simpson Ohio’s Cincinnati office by calling 513-854-1778 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form today.