Although it is illegal in Franklin County, drivers do not seem to get the message that a distracted driver who is texting and driving is not only breaking Ohio laws, but it also creates an increased risk of being involved in a head-on collision or other serious accident. A recent week-long focus on distracted driving by the State Highway Patrol led to in excess of 1,000 tickets being written.
Police officials blame drivers who failed to pay attention while they were behind the wheel for causing almost 18,000 car accidents last year. As serious a danger as a distracted driver may pose to highway safety, the number of tickets given out for texting and driving by the Highway Patrol is all the more impressive due to a provision in state law. While it is a traffic offense to text while driving, the law only makes it a secondary one.
As a secondary offense, police officers who see a motorist texting and driving cannot pull the person over and issue a ticket. A ticket will only be issued if the motorist is observed speeding or committing another primary offense for which police are authorized to make a traffic stop.
A car collision with a distracted driver in which someone suffers a serious injury or is killed may entitle the victim or victim’s family to compensation. Medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages may be recoverable against a negligent driver.
A Columbus personal injury attorney could probably be of assistance if you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash with a distracted driver. If an accident investigation reveals evidence to establish liability against another driver for causing the accident, you might be entitled to sue for damages.
Source: Cleveland.com, “Ohio troopers issue more than 1,000 tickets in crackdown on distracted driving,” Robert Higgs, July 30, 2015