Distracted Driver Accidents

When we get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, the task of driving requires our complete and undivided attention. In recent years, numerous technological advances have led to the creation of several gadgets that can assist people in communicating or getting directions to and from destinations.

The popularity of cell phones and other handheld mobile devices have led to far too many motorists attempting to multitask, often navigating a display screen or typing a message while driving. Talking or texting on a cell phone are just a few of the many forms of distraction that can take a driver’s eyes off the road and lead to a devastating accident, and the people who have been injured in such crashes need to understand what their legal recourse is in such cases.

Lawyer for Distracted Driver Accidents in Cincinnati, Ohio

Did you suffer catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in a crash in the Cincinnati area caused by a distracted driver? Do not say anything to an insurance company until you have legal counsel.

The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at Steiden Law Offices help car accident victims throughout Campbell County, Kenton County, and Boone County in Kentucky as well as Warren County, Butler County, Hamilton County, and Clermont County in Ohio. Call right now to receive a free initial consultation that will let our lawyers review your case and explain all of your legal options.

Overview of Distracted Driver Crashes in Kentucky

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Distracted Driving Laws in Ohio and Kentucky

Governments cannot outlaw all types of distractions that could possibly divert the attention of motorists, but both Kentucky and Ohio do have laws that address cell phone use while driving. The policies in both states are largely very similar.

Ohio Revised Code § 4511.204 states that no person shall drive a motor vehicle on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic while using a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication. The law does provide 10 exceptions, such as people who are using a device for navigation purposes or receiving wireless messages via radio waves.

Under Ohio Revised Code § 4511.205, holders of temporary instruction permits who have not attained the age of 18 years and holders of probationary driver's licenses cannot drive a motor vehicle on any street, highway, or property used by the public for purposes of vehicular traffic or parking while using an electronic wireless communications device in any manner. The three exceptions to this law include:

  • A person using an electronic wireless communications device for emergency purposes, including an emergency contact with a law enforcement agency, hospital or health care provider, fire department, or other similar emergency agency or entity;
  • A person using an electronic wireless communications device whose motor vehicle is in a stationary position and the motor vehicle is outside a lane of travel; and
  • A person using a navigation device in a voice-operated or hands-free manner who does not manipulate the device while driving.

Kentucky Revised Statute § 189.292 establishes that “no person shall, while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion on the traveled portion of a roadway, write, send, or read text-based communication using a personal communication device to manually communicate with any person using text-based communication, including but not limited to communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.” The prohibition does not apply to:

  • The use of a global positioning system feature of a personal communication device;
  • The use of a global positioning or navigation system that is physically or electronically integrated into the motor vehicle;
  • The reading, selecting, or entering of a telephone number or name in a personal communication device for the purpose of making a phone call;
  • An operator of an emergency or public safety vehicle, when the use of a personal communication device is an essential function of the operator's official duties; or
  • The operator of a motor vehicle who writes a text message on a personal communication device to report illegal activity, summon medical help, summon a law enforcement or public safety agency, or prevent injury to a person or property.

Under Kentucky Revised Statute § 189.294, all people under the age of 18 who have been issued instruction permits, intermediate licenses, or operator's licenses are prohibited form operating motor vehicles that are in motion while using a personal communication device. The only exception is for minors who are summoning medical help or a law enforcement or public safety agency in an emergency situation.

The one major difference between Ohio’s driving while texting law and Kentucky’s is that Kentucky treats texting violations as primary offenses, which means police officers can pull motorists over simply for seeing drivers committing the offenses. Texting while driving is a secondary offense in Ohio, which means an officer can only stop a driver for a separate primary traffic offense.

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Types of Distractions While Driving in Cincinnati

Cell phones are typically the most common forms of distractions while driving because the devices are often capable of doing much more than just communicating with others. Essentially, there are three types of distractions:

  • Manual — A distraction that causes a driver to take his or her hands off the wheel;
  • Visual — A distraction that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off the road; or
  • Cognitive — A distraction that causes a driver to take his or her mind off of what they are doing (driving).

Texting while driving is often treated as the most serious distraction because it represents a combination of all three of these types of distractions. In a distracted driving case, an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to subpoena the cell phone records of a negligent driver to obtain proof that the motorist sent or received a text message or was using the device for some other purpose.

In addition to cell phone and mobile device usage, some other common distractions that can lead to car accidents include:

  • Adjusting car stereos;
  • Children;
  • Eating or drinking;
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) or other navigation system;
  • Personal grooming;
  • Pets;
  • Rubbernecking or diverting one’s attention to something else (such as a nearby automobile accident);
  • Reading;
  • Searching for or attempting to retrieve fallen items;
  • Smoking;
  • Talking to passengers; or
  • Watching videos.

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Ohio and Kentucky Resources for Distracted Driving Collisions

Traffic Safety Bulletin | Ohio State Highway Patrol — According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 13,261 Ohio drivers crashed in 2015 while being distracted by something within their vehicles. Of these crashes, 39 were fatal accidents resulting in 43 deaths and another 4,593 drivers were involved in collisions that caused 6,916 injuries. Find more distracted driving statistics by visiting this website.

Distracted Driving Kentucky Safety | Kentucky Transportation Cabinet — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office of Highway Safety produced this safety facts sheet about distracted driving. It covers the state’s distracted driving laws, types of distractions, and interesting facts about the effects of distractions. You can also find links to additional websites for more information.

Distraction.gov — Distraction.gov is the official United States government website for distracted driving. The website has a variety of videos and articles for teenagers, parents, educators, and employers. You can also watch “Faces of Distracted Driving” public service announcement (PSA) videos that feature the tales of people who have been impacted by distracted driving.

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Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Distracted Driver Accident Lawyer

If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed as the result of a crash caused by a distracted driver in the Cincinnati area, it will be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation for help holding the negligent party accountable. Steiden Law Offices represents clients on a contingency fee basis so victims do not have to worry about paying one cent unless we get them a financial award.

Our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys serve communities throughout Clermont County, Warren County, Butler County, and Hamilton County in Ohio plus Boone County, Campbell County, and Kenton County in Kentucky. You can have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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