Public awareness of the dangers posed by distracted drivers is at an all-time high. More people than ever understand how risky it is to send text messages or emails while in control of a motor vehicle. Both citizens and lawmakers have begun to push back against this dangerous trend by advocating for better traffic laws that reflect the temptation and risk created by mobile devices.
Thankfully, Ohio has laws in place that specifically prohibit any form of text-based communication while driving a vehicle, including SMS messaging and sending emails. Unfortunately, this law has done very little to detract from the number of people willing to engage in dangerous distraction while driving. That leaves everyone on the road at serious risk of injury.
Understanding Ohio's laws about texting, as well as your rights after a crash, can help you connect with the compensation you deserve if you wind up hurt by a distracted driver.
Ohio law bans all text-based communication while driving
Every state has their own approach to reducing distracted driving. Some states don't have any laws against the practice, while others only have a ban in place for teenage drivers. Ohio has relatively strict laws about texting at the wheel. It prohibits drivers from reading, writing or sending text based communication while at the wheel. It does allow people to make phone calls from mobile phones while driving.
Those who wind up accused of texting while driving in Ohio could receive a fine of up to $150. It is also worth noting that the offense is not a civil infraction, but rather a misdemeanor. For drivers under the age of 18, a first offense for texting while driving can result in a six month loss of their license, as well as the fine.
Injured parties can hold a texting driver responsible for their negligence
People who chose to focus on something other than the road put everyone else at risk. Sometimes, their decision can lead to serious injuries to other people. In tragic cases, it can even result in a fatality. Whether you suffered injuries in a crash or lost a loved one, you likely have legal grounds to pursue compensation from the responsible party.
You may be able to request records that prove whether the other driver was on a phone at the time of the collision. If law enforcement or the courts have documentation that the individual was texting at the time of the crash, that may be sufficient evidence for negligent behavior contributing to the crash.
That negligence may open the door for you to seek compensation for any property damage losses, medical costs and lost wages associated with the accident. While you can't stop people from choosing to text and drive, you can hold them accountable when that decision affects you and your family.