April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to highlight the issues surrounding cell phone use while driving.
There have been recent laws passed that enforce a texting ban in Ohio for drivers, but what many do not realize is that there is still an issue with drivers talking on their phone while driving. Drivers that are talking on their phone, whether it is handheld or hands-free, have an increased risk of being involved in a car crash. It has been estimated people talking on their phones while behind the wheel are involved in 21% of car accidents in the U.S. This issue all stems from the idea that we must be multitasking at all times.
In today’s society, we must always be “on” and ready to respond to emails or calls from work, answer the text from friends, or be reached by family members at all times. This feeling of connectivity has changed the way we communicate, making people feel as though they must respond to the text or answer the call so the person trying to reach them doesn’t feel ignored or frustrated.
There has been a recent increase of hands-free devices making drivers feel as though they are perfectly fine using their phones behind the wheel since they aren’t actually holding the phone. Sadly, hands-free does not mean distraction-free. A driver that is talking on their hands-free device while behind the wheel may miss seeing up to 50% of their surroundings. They may look in their environment, but due to the distraction that the phone call is causing, they may not register what they see. This effect is known as “inattention blindness.”
It is important for drivers to know that they are not the masters of multitasking, and to do their best to refrain from using cell phones while driving. Our office wants to reduce the number of fatal car accidents and serious car accident injuries, and we believe that by reducing the number of drivers that are distracted by cell phones, we will increase the number of lives saved.
If you have been injured as a result of a distracted driver or have any questions on this issue and the laws related to it, call our Ohio car accident attorneys.