Distracted driving is almost as notorious as drunk driving as a leading cause of preventable collisions in Ohio. Much like with drunk driving, distracted driving has been the focus of public awareness campaigns run both by state officials and those grieving tragic collisions.
Distracted driving is also like drunk driving in that many people who recognize the practice as generally unsafe still believe they are the exception to the rule. Many people who admit they know that distracted driving is dangerous will also say they think they have the skills to do it safely.
The unfortunate truth is that distracted driving is a common and completely preventable cause of collisions and it has become a major concern in Ohio.
Thousands of distracted driving crashes occur every year
When reading about Ohio’s distracted driving crash statistics, you need to acknowledge that many cases of distracted driving aren’t identified properly by state authorities. Drivers often go to great lengths to try to hide their illegal behavior at the wheel from the police officers responding to a crash.
In other words, the statistics about distracted driving likely significantly underrepresent the risk, but they are still concerning. The Ohio State Highway Patrol estimates that there have been 69,000 distracted driving crashes in Ohio between 2017 and 2022. Of those, 2,060 involved serious injury or fatalities. State officials also warn that a significant portion of those who drive while distracted by technology specifically are youthful drivers in their teens and twenties.
How can you protect yourself from this epidemic of unsafe drivers?
Addressing your own potential risk for digital distractions is a key first step to improving your safety on the road. Choosing to turn off your ringer and put your phone in a position where you will not see it blink or notice it vibrate will prevent distraction from affecting you as you drive.
You can also employ defensive driving techniques to minimize the possibility of getting hurt by a driver who isn’t paying attention to the task at hand. If you do end up suffering an injury and vehicle damage in a wreck caused by a driver distracted, you can potentially file a claim against their insurance or may even have grounds to take them to civil court.
Exploring your rights after an Ohio car crash will help you minimize the financial consequences of the wreck.