New bill seeks to strengthen Ohio’s current texting and driving ban

If passed, a new bill in Ohio would make texting and driving a primary offense for all drivers in the state.

Over two years ago, the state of Ohio banned texting and driving, states the Dayton Daily News. However, state legislators now seek to prevent the many injuries and accidents that occur because of distracted driving by strengthening the terms of this ban.

The bill's specifics

In Ohio, texting and driving is currently a secondary offense. This means that law enforcement officials can only pull a driver over for texting if he or she has committed another violation, like speeding. According to the Dayton Daily News, if this bill is passed, texting while driving would become a primary offense in the state. As a result, law enforcement officials would be able to pull drivers over solely for texting behind the wheel of a vehicle. This legislation would also make it illegal for drivers to use their cellphones while driving through an active construction zone or a school zone during restricted hours.

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving includes any activity that prohibits a driver from focusing exclusively on operating a vehicle. There are also three main types of driver distraction, which include:

  • Visual-drivers who take their eyes off of the road in front of them are visually distracted. For example, a driver who looks at his or her GPS system while in motion to get directions is visually distracted.
  • Cognitive-those who are no longer focused on driving while they operate a vehicle are cognitively distracted. For instance, a driver who intently speaks to the passenger with him or her in the vehicle he or she is driving or focuses on what he or she has to do at work that day is cognitively distracted.
  • Manual-drivers who take their hands off of the steering as their vehicle is in motion are manually distracted. For example, a driver who uses his or her hands to reach for his or her wallet on the passenger seat is manually distracted.

While any type of distraction can threaten the lives of passengers, drivers and pedestrians, texting and driving is particularly dangerous because it combines visual, cognitive and manual distraction.

Seeking compensation

Despite laws that prohibit texting and driving, many in Ohio and throughout the country are injured or killed in distracted driving-related collisions every day. According to the CDC, more than nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured daily in collisions that involve distracted driving. If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent or distracted driver, speak with an attorney in your area to find out what compensation may be available to you.

Keywords: texting, distracted, driving, accident