Claiming 3,477 lives in 2015 alone, this type of dangerous driving has sparked national efforts for prevention. With the increasing number of Americans who have cell phones, the potential for distraction is high.
Can you think of a time you dropped something while behind the wheel and reached for it? Or maybe your phone started ringing in the passenger seat and you took your eyes off the road, even for a split second?
A similar narrative resulted in a rollover crash on Saturday afternoon.
While traveling north on Ohio 601 between U.S. 20 and Ohio 18, Kathleen A. Sengstock, 74 of Marblehead, veered off to the right side of the roadway, causing the vehicle to rollover. State Highway Patrol troopers said she reported being distracted, attempting to locate a cell phone in the passenger seat. She was out of the vehicle upon their arrival and was responsive, however, the extent of her injuries are unknown.
Sengstock was transported to Fisher-Titus Medical Center for treatment and later issued a citation for failure to control, a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $150.
Although this is an example of distracted driving that has what might be considered minor consequences, for many, the unexpected costs associated with an accident can have a substantial impact.
In more severe cases, the stakes are much higher.
In 2014, the Ohio State Highway Patrol determined that 17,827, or 6 percent, of all crashes in the state had reported a distraction.
Of those accidents, 44 were fatal and 5,958 resulted in injuries.
Phone related activity was a factor in 23 percent of those fatal crashes and 16 percent of all distracted driving crashes.