Despite changes to the law and increased public safety initiatives, distracted driving continues to be a problem across America, including right here in Ohio. Distracted driving can take many forms, too, from texting and driving to eating, reading, and conversing while operating a vehicle.
And the effects can be devastating. Taking one’s eyes off the road for even a split second can cause nearly the length of a football field to pass without realizing it, which could cause a driver to fail to stop for slow or halted traffic. It can even cause a motorist to run a red light or a stop sign, or swerve into oncoming traffic.
How common is distracted driving in Ohio?
Sadly, the number of distracted driving accidents in Ohio is significant. In fact, according to statistics, between 2015 and 2020 there were more than 75,000 car accidents attributable to distracted driving. Franklin County alone had more than 7,400 distracted driving wrecks during that time period. Making matters worse is the fact that hundreds of these cases statewide resulted in death, and thousands more were likely injured in these crashes.
Who causes these distracted driving accidents?
Anyone can cause a distracted driving accident, but statistics do show some trends. For example, men are more likely to engage in distracted driving in Ohio than women, although both play a major role in these accidents, with men accounting for 55% of them and women accounting for 44%. Younger drivers also make up more than a third of these wrecks. This could be attributable to their lack of driving experience and skills, or it could be on account of their more extensive use of electronic devices while driving.
What can you do to protect yourself?
When out on the roads, you need to be as defensive as possible. This means keeping an appropriate amount of distance between yourself and other vehicles and remaining attentive to those who are beside and behind you. Follow all traffic laws, but also don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement if you see a driver who is operating his or her vehicle in a distracted or otherwise dangerous fashion. After all, the statistics also show that law enforcement officials are doing their best to issue citations to those who text and drive and drive in other distracted ways.
Taking legal action to protect your interests
If you or a loved one has been injured in one of these wrecks, then you may want to consider legal action. Doing so may be the only way for you to obtain true accountability and recover the compensation that you need and deserve. Pursuing one of these claims isn’t always easy, though, as it can be fraught with legal complexities. That’s why you may want to consider working closely with a legal professional who understands the law and how to apply it to your set of circumstances. An attorney can also help you investigate the accident to not only gain a clear picture of what, exactly, happened, but also to gather the evidence that you need to support your claim.
Remember, the individual who injured you and his or her insurance company isn’t looking out for your best interests. So, even though you may be offered a settlement, you shouldn’t jump on it too quickly. Instead, you should carefully analyze the offer in light of your damages and your likelihood of success should you take your case to trial. If you’d like assistance in conducting that analysis and building the strongest case possible under the circumstances, then now may be the time to discuss your case with an experienced legal professional.