Distracted driving is the state of driving while engaged in any other task that diverts a driver’s attention, be it physically or mentally. If you or someone you know is facing property damage, financial loss, or physical injuries due to a distracted driving accident, you can legally claim compensation.
There are strict laws pertaining to distracted driving in the state of Ohio. And if a distracted driving accident critically injures someone, or in worst cases, leads to wrongful death, the driver will be charged under ‘criminal negligence.’ So distracted driving accidents are liable to compensate for injuries and damages and subject to judicial action.
Ohio Laws On Distracted Driving
Here are some essential distracted driving laws in Ohio you should know about:
- ORC 4511.204 prohibits drivers from using any handheld electronic communication device to send text-based messages when driving.
- ORC 4511.205 prohibits drivers below 18 years of age holding temporary permits or probationary licenses from using any electronic communication device while driving.
Of course, there are exceptions laid down for these laws, such as texting in an emergency, calling the police or hospital, and other such scenarios. However, distracted driving is not a primary offense in Ohio, meaning that someone who uses their phone when driving will not be charged immediately. Legal action will be taken only if distracted driving causes an accident or some damage/harm.
Factors Leading To Distracted Driving: Texting the Most Prominent Cause
To understand the factors behind distracted driving, you need to know about the there types of distractions.
- Manual distractions are things that make you take your hands off the wheel.
- Visual distractions make you take your eyes off the road.
- Cognitive distractions take your mind, focus, and attention away from driving.
Texting is considered one of the most prominent causes of distracted driving because it includes all three distractions. Cellphones, in general, are one of the major causes of distracted driving accidents.
Research from the University of Utah states that driving when using a cellphone is as impairing as driving under influence, and drivers using cell phones are more than five times likely to get in an accident compared to those driving normally.
Even though Ohio State laws emphasize the use of electronic communication devices while driving, other factors that cause distracted driving accidents are also considered, such as:
- Eating or drinking
- Using GPS navigation systems
- Interacting with other passengers
- Searching for items
- Grooming, etc.
Teenagers are considered more likely to get into an accident when driving in a distracted state than adults. That is why the laws in Ohio prohibited under 18 drivers from using electronic devices for any reason whatsoever when driving unless it’s a serious emergency.
Claiming Compensation In Distracted Driving Accident Cases
If you have been injured or facing damages due to a distracted driving accident, you can definitely file a compensation claim. But first, there’s going to be some investigation to confirm that the driver was indeed driving in a distracted state at the time of the accident. Your compensation arrives only when it’s proven that you are at no fault from your end and that the cause of the accident was solely the driver’s negligence. That is why you need an attorney to handle distracted driving accident cases.
Several steps must be taken to verify if the driver was indeed in a distracted state, such as recreating the events of the accident, checking their phone records at the time of the event, etc. Legal assistance is crucial to prove the driver’s fault and receive your compensation.
If you get into an accident that causes some damage or injury, the first step is to note the vehicle’s license number if possible and immediately call for medical services if required. After that, report it to the legal authorities right away and give them detailed information about the accident and that you are sure that it’s a distracted driving case. Then reach out to the best attorney in your area who is experienced in handling distracted driving and vehicle accident cases.
It is essential to mention here that distracted driving accidents could be taxing to your mental and physical health, and third parties might influence your decision and claims for compensation. It is, therefore, necessary to contact an attorney for the best advice.
When injured or facing property damage due to an agent caused by distracted driving, you are fully deserving of receiving appropriate compensation. Our team at Young, Reverman, and Mazzei is highly experienced at handling distracted driving accident cases, so feel free to reach out to us. With a free consultation and no upfront charges, we strive to ensure that you receive the claim you deserve.