Sign up for a free initial
Skilled Legal Representation for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a choice that puts others’ lives at risk. While texting behind the wheel is the most commonly cited driver distraction, it is not the only form of distracted driving that contributes to motor vehicle crashes.
The Cincinnati personal injury lawyers at Young, Reverman & Mazzei are dedicated to helping accident victims recover the financial compensation they need to cope with medical expenses and move forward with their lives. If you were hurt in a crash that may have been caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, please call us today at 800-721-1678 or contact us online for your free consultation.
Our attorneys are proud to represent injury victims from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas as well as those from Boone County, Campbell County and Kenton County in Kentucky and Dearborn County in Indiana.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distraction-related traffic crashes claim the lives of at least nine people per day, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA defines distracted driving as anything that takes a driver’s full attention away from the road.
Often, these distractions lead to accidents that could have been easily avoided. Texting while driving is a commonly cited distraction, but it is not the only activity that can impact your ability to drive safely; eating, drinking, making phone calls, or adjusting your navigation and radio are also distractions that can affect your driving.
The NHTSA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognize three primary forms of distracted driving:
- Visual: Taking your eyes off the road while driving. This includes texting, checking the radio or navigation system, searching for items in the car and sightseeing while driving.
- Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel while the vehicle is operating. This includes eating or drinking, texting, and adjusting the radio or GPS.
- Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving while behind the wheel. This includes talking to someone else in the car, texting, and driving while drowsy or in a heightened emotional state.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it incorporates each type of driver distraction. On average, reading or sending a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about 5 seconds; at 55 mph, that’s long enough to drive the length of a football field.
Distracted Driving Laws in Ohio
Distracted driving in Ohio is classified as participating in any activity that is not necessary to the operation of a vehicle and impairs the driver’s ability to drive safely. This includes using any mobile or handheld device that is not voice-activated and hands-free.
These distractions include eating or drinking, texting, and making phone calls while driving. Communicating through text is permitted only when the vehicle is pulled over and out of traffic.
Distracted driving is generally a secondary offense. However, any form of reading, writing, or sending text messages while driving is illegal and can result in misdemeanor charges, a fine of up to $150, and points added to your driver’s license. Ohio’s distracted driving laws include a ban on texting while driving, penalties for drivers holding pets in their laps, and fines for motorists using handheld and mobile devices for internet use while behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Laws in Kentucky
Under Kentucky’s distracted driving laws, texting and driving is illegal, although drivers are allowed to enter telephone numbers, accept calls, talk on the phone, and use navigation systems while driving. Any driver younger than 18 is strictly prohibited from using a mobile device in any way while on the road, including making phone calls. However, they are allowed to make use of GPS provided they have programmed the device prior to driving.
Possible consequences for driving while distracted in Kentucky could include a $25 fine upon the first offense with increasing fines for each repeat offense, as well as points added to your driver’s license. These points will stay on your record for five years. Drivers with a CDL license could face harsher penalties of up to $2,750 in fines for texting and driving, while motorists who are routinely fined could lose their driving privileges altogether.
Distracted Driving Laws in Indiana
Compared to many other states, Indiana’s distracted driving laws are relatively relaxed, but it is still illegal to read or compose text messages or emails while driving. It is not against Indiana law to use a handheld device to make phone calls while driving, and motorists are not required to use a hands-free or voice-activated device while the vehicle is in motion.
However, drivers who are younger than 21 are not permitted to use any type of mobile or handheld device while driving, including making phone calls or adjusting GPS navigation. Motorists can also incur penalties up to $500 for driving while distracted, while CDL license holders are subject to fees of up to $2,750 as well as a possibility to have their driving privileges revoked.
Distracted Driving Attorneys in the Greater Cincinnati Area
During crash investigations, law enforcement officers may ask about cell phone use or texting while behind the wheel. But they may not ask about other types of driver distractions.
If you were hurt in an accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, it’s important to tell the responding police officers. It’s also a good idea to arrange a consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can investigate your case and fight for the money you need to cope with medical costs and other damages.
The Cincinnati attorneys at Young, Reverman & Mazzei have an extensive record of success helping injury victims pursue the financial security they need to heal and move forward. We offer free consultations to help you understand your options, and we don’t charge for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
We welcome clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas. We are also proud to represent clients from Campbell County, Boone County and Kenton County in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana. Please see our locations page for a complete list of our offices and directions.