The dangers of texting and driving are tremendous. Drivers divert their attention from the road ahead by taking their eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel. The consequences of each of these actions can be severe and lead to an accident.
You should retain the services of a skilled and competent attorney if you were injured in Ohio caused by someone texting while driving.
How Dangerous Is Texting While Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that about 600,000 automobiles are driven using cell phones during the day.
Around 1.6 million car accidents involve cell phones in the United States every year. Approximately 500,000 of these crashes result in injury, with 6,000 in death.
The vast majority of those would have been entirely avoidable. Sadly, it is not just a teenage problem. The use of a cell phone while driving in the United States accounts for nearly a quarter of all traffic accidents.
State of Ohio Laws Concerning Texting and Driving
Over a dozen states prohibit talking on a cell device, but texting while driving is not permitted in practically every state. Texting while driving and talking on the phone is unlawful in Ohio for drivers under 18.
Texting and driving legislation for persons over 18 changed at the end of 2018. It was made illegal, but it was still viewed as a secondary offense. A driver who an officer pulls over for a primary violation may be prosecuted for texting.
In Ohio, texting while driving is a secondary offense that carries a light penalty. Furthermore, drivers will be charged a penalty of $100 besides any fines imposed for the primary infraction. Instead of paying the fee, drivers can opt to complete a distracted driving course.
Proposed New Law
Ohio legislators began debating a new law in May 2021 that would make it illegal to text while driving. The rule would allow cops to stop a driver only for talking on their phone, even if they weren’t doing anything else wrong.
The new law was enacted in response to texting and driving-related incidents. Under the bill, it would be illegal to use mobile devices to view videos, place orders, or carry out other activities that do not constitute hands-free activities.
The new law imposes a $150 fine on first-time violators. Under the old statute, first-time offenders can opt to take a distracted driving safety course rather than pay the fee.