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Distracted driving can contribute to fault in a car accident

Ohio drivers may have heard of the term distracted driving many times, but may not be sure what the term encompasses even though thousands of people die or are injured in car accidents across the country involving distracted driving. Any activity that can cause a person to divert their attention from the primary task of driving is considered distracted driving. Texting, using a cellphone, talking to passengers, watching a video, and adjusting a radio are all examples of distracted driving.

Of these, texting while driving requires perhaps the most attention, because a driver concentrates not just manually and visually on a text message, but also cognitively. Therefore, it can be one of the most alarming distractions on the road. In fact, at any given time during the day in this country, around 660,000 drivers are using their cellphones or other electronic devices. It is also one of the ways that fault can be determined in a car accident, as Ohio has a ban on texting while driving.

Teenagers seem to be the largest group that engage in this activity, with 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in a crash reporting they were distracted at the time, and they make up 27 percent of the drivers in fatal crashes. In fact, a quarter of teens have admitted to responding to a text every time they drive, which means they take their eyes off the road for 5 seconds, on average, while driving.

Five seconds is enough to cause a potentially devastating car accident on the road. If an Ohio resident is injured in an accident that involves the other driver's distracted driving, he or she may be able to file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.

Source: distraction.gov, "What is distracted driving?" Accessed on Sept. 15, 2014

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