Ohio Sees It’s Fare Share Of Careless Driving And Distracted Driving, Which Accounts For Up To 50% Of Crashed In The United States
Four vehicles were recently involved in an auto accident involving two tractor-trailers, a passenger pickup truck, and a dump truck. The tractor trailer accident was caused by careless driving, according to the official report by the Florida Highway Patrol. As reported on national statistics from the Center for Disease Control, careless driving, or distracted driving, accounts for about 17 to 50 percent of all crashes in the United States.
Ohio is not immune to distracted driving accidents. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), in 2013, cellphone use caused 2,483 accidents, 865 injuries, and 10 fatalities in Ohio. Texting or e-mailing while driving in Ohio caused 411 accidents, 145, and 6 fatalities in 2013. Use of electronic devices (including car radio) caused 2,020 Ohio accidents, 700 injuries, and 3 fatalities. Other vehicle distractions (such as grooming, conversation, eating, or listening to music), caused 6,915 accidents, 2,371 injuries, and 18 fatalities. External distractions (such as seeing another accident), caused 5,736 accidents, 1,874 injuries, and 16 fatalities.
Reports indicate that the tractor trailer accident occurred when the driver of one tractor trailer was distracted and did not stop in time to avoid a dump truck waiting to turn left. The tractor trailer driver swerved to avoid hitting the dump truck, but the two cars collided anyway. The force of the accident sent the dump truck into the back of a pickup truck in front of the dump truck. The second tractor trailer tried to swerve out of the way of the original swerving truck, but it hit the dump truck as well. Two of the drivers sustained minor injuries in the crash, but the other two drivers were unharmed. The Highway Patrol cited the original tractor trailer driver with careless driving, which was believed to be the cause of the accident.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), distracted driving accounts for between 17 and 60 percent of all traffic accidents in the United States. What is even more worrisome is the fact that distracted driving accidents are increasing. Between 2011 and 2012, distracted driving accidents increased by 9 percent. The CDC estimates that nationally, 9 people are killed and over 1,500 people are injured as a result of distracted driving each day. These shocking statistics reveal a dangerous and growing trend in the United States.
Because of the high number of injuries, accidents, and fatalities caused by distracted driving in Ohio, the state of Ohio has taken measures to try to reduce and prevent distracted driving. Distracted driving accidents are most common during the teen years, which is why Ohio has a law against non hands-free cell-phone use for drivers of all ages, and a law against the use of any electronic devices for drivers under the age of 18. For drivers older than 18, using a cell phone while driving is a secondary offence, while using a cell phone under the age of 18 is a primary offence. Frequently, the Ohio State Highway Patrol hosts educational events warning adult and teen drivers about the risks of distracted driving. As April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Ohio State Patrol is taking extra care to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.