April marks beginning of Distracted Driving Awareness Month

File photo (Pixabay)

With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and local authorities are reminding drivers to keep their focus on the road.

According to a press release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 51 people lost their lives and more than 6,800 were injured as a result of crashes involving distracted driving last year.

“Every time someone takes their eyes off the road - even for just a few seconds - they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,” said Lt. Akers, Commander of the Columbus Post. “Distracted driving is unsafe and irresponsible. In a split second, its consequences can be devastating.”

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For example, OSHP says taking one’s eye off the road for 4.6 seconds while going 55 mph is equal to driving the length of a football field.

Passed in 2018, Ohio House Bill 95 expanded what is considered law enforcement and increased the fine for it if it was determined to be a factor in a traffic violation. Distracted driving includes taking eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or even taking your mind off driving. One example that uses all three is texting.

“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.

Ohio law bans anyone under 18 from using electronic wireless communication devices while driving. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers.

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