Motorists have a duty to drive responsibly and with a due regard to public safety in Franklin County and elsewhere. Unfortunately, far too many breach this duty by driving in a distracted manner, such as texting and driving. To make matters worse, Ohio has no law on the books banning motorists from sending texts while behind the wheel. That could lead many to believe it is alright to text and drive even if it could result in serious injury to the driver and others.
The statistics about the dangers of texting and driving are disturbing to say the least. Even just taking five seconds to respond to a text is enough time for a vehicle to travel the length of an entire football field. In fact, 6,000 deaths and an astonishing half a million injuries per year are caused by distracted drivers. Many of these drivers are teenagers, whose inexperience behind the wheel makes them especially dangerous when not paying attention to the road.
It's not just texting either. The time it takes to pick up a phone and read a text is enough time to cause an accident. And according to a study conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions, texting is the leading distraction while driving.
For those Franklin County residents who find themselves as the victim of a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, the law does provide a way to collect monetary compensation even though texting and driver is technically permissible under Ohio law. By filing a civil claim for personal injury against the at-fault driver, a victim may be able to collect monetary damages for his or her injuries. In the tragic event that the victim has died because of the accident, the family may be able to file a claim for wrongful death, which is a type of death caused by the negligent or willful conduct of another.