Teen’s In Viral Video Never Saw It Coming; How Teen Texting While Driving Can Play Large Role In Ohio Distracted Driving Accidents
A recent Youtube video released by Volkswagen depicting a distracting driving accident has become a viral sensation. The car manufacturer released an awareness campaign video showcasing the dangers of texting while driving. Volkswagen created the video of a person driving and then sent out a mass text to unsuspecting movie goers. When the audience looked at their phones to read the sent text, the car crashes into a tree on the side of the road, showing just how fast it is possible to cause a distracted driving accident while looking at something else other than the road. This new awareness campaign is designed to reduce the number of distracted driving-related deaths that occur around the world. According to the video, mobile phones are the leading cause of distracted driving accidents on our roadways. [June 2014,
U.S. statistics and studies show similar results. A 2008 study conducted by Transport Research Laboratory showed that using a phone while driving delays reaction time by 35 percent. As a comparison, driving while drunk delays reaction time by only 12 percent. Statistics from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis show that about 3,000 people are killed as a result of texting while driving in the United States each year. A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that texting while driving increases your risk of death by more than 23 times. A poll conducted by the Office of Research and Statistics in 2009 found that 65 percent of adults between the age of 25 and 34 admitted to texting or talking on a phone while driving. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that cell phone use while driving accounts for about 18 percent of all fatal accidents on the road. [June 2014, http://www.the-daily-record.com/local%20news/2014/03/06/texting-while-driving-statistics-released] [June 2014,
Even though Ohio has laws prohibiting texting while driving, distracted driving still causes hundreds of accidents and injuries each year in Ohio. Between 2009 and 2011, 31,231 crashes were caused by distracted driving and cell phone use in Ohio and resulted in 74 deaths. Over the past 12 months, Columbus Ohio kept track of the number of citations given to Columbus drivers who were texting or illegally using a mobile phone. Columbus police pulled over more than 270 people. Since January 2013, Ohio has seen 371 phone-related crashes. This resulted in 6 fatalities and 128 injuries. [June 2014, http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/Distracted_Driving_Bulletin_2012.pdf]
National studies show that texting is particularly dangerous because it involves all three distraction methods on the road. It physically takes your eyes off the road, causing a 4.5 second delay which can result in serious injury or death. It uses cognitive thinking, which is a source of distraction while driving. It also takes physical movement, which is another leading cause of distracted driving accidents. That is why texting while driving increases your risk by such a high percentage.
Although using a cell phone while driving in Ohio is illegal, currently, for adults, the use of a cell phone is only a secondary offence. This means that a driver can only be pulled over and cited for texting while driving if he or she also has another issue, such as expired registration. Teen drivers who use cell phones and drive, however, can be pulled over for using a phone as a primary offense.