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'Distracted driving is unsafe and irresponsible'

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Apr 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are reminding drivers to keep their eyes and focus on the roadway while driving.

Last year, 51 people died and more than 6,800 were injured in Ohio as a result of distracted driving crashes. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph, according to patrol statistics.

“National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is the perfect time to make the commitment to yourself and to your family to eliminate distractions, such as cell phones, while you drive,” DeWine said.

“Every time someone takes their eyes or their off the road — even for just a few seconds — they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,” said Lt. Smith, commander of the Elyria post. “Distracted driving is unsafe and irresponsible. In a split second, its consequences can be devastating.”

On Oct. 29, Ohio passed House Bill 95, a law which broadened what is considered distracted driving an increased the fine if it was a contributing factor to the commission of the driving violation.

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, such as taking one’s eyes off of the road); manual, including taking your hands off the wheel; or cognitive, such as taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.

As a reminder, Ohio law bans all electronic wireless communication device usage for drivers younger than 18. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers and is a secondary offense for adults 18 years and older.

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