At the end of October, a new law went into effect which aims to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents in Ohio. In 2017, nearly 14,000 vehicle crashes occurred due to distracted driving in Ohio. The crashes resulted in 55 deaths, and the number of fatal crashed doubled from 2016 to 2017.

Distracted driving is more than texting

The law allows police officers to issue tickets for any distracted driving behavior. A driver who is eating, flipping the radio station or messing with a GPS can be cited. The law states any activity not related to the operation of the vehicle or that impairs the driver’s ability is not permitted.

A driver pulled over for distracted driving receives a $100 ticket. The ticket can be issued in addition to other tickets the driver may receive.

Drivers engage in some crazy behaviors

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sargent Adam Doles stated during his time on the job, he has seen many distracted drivers on Ohio roads. The patrolmen said the craziest thing he had seen was a driver shaving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reading or sending a text messages takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds. For someone driving 55 mph, he or she travels the length of a football field in that time. That means someone sending a text travels down a football field with his or her eyes basically closed.

You can hold a distracted driver accountable

If a distracted driver hit you, you may have serious injuries. Hospital bills and rehabilitation are costly. However, you have legal recourse against a driver that acted negligently. You do not have to struggle in silence.