Distracted Driving I-71 Crackdown – Tips for Ohio Drivers

Aug 12, 2020 Car Accidents

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

Distracted driving on I-71 in Ohio has forced state officials to designate a portion of that highway from Delaware to Morrow counties as a “distracted driving safety corridor” to receive extra police attention.

When driving this 22-mile stretch of highway starting around Sunbury and ending near Chesterville, drivers will notice a dozen signs warning that laws against speeding and distracted driving will be strictly enforced, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Commuters traveling from Columbus to Mansfield will want to stay alert given the designation.

Highway Patrol reported that in 2017 and 2018 about 4,700 distracted driving crashes resulting in 13 fatalities occurred in central Ohio. To combat this, they designated the I-71 safety corridor to step up enforcement. A similar corridor designation happened in in Youngstown on I-76 and I-80, which saw a 30% reduction in crashes, according to police.

Fifty-two Ohioans died in 13,876 distracted driving-related crashes in 2018, as reported by the Ohio Department of Transportation. This is a 15% increase in distracted driving crashes from 2013.

While the car accident attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick represent the unfortunate victims of other’s negligent driving, we’d much rather you reach your destination safely. We’ve put together some information to help keep motorists safe, but if you are injured in a car accident near Columbus, with 11 offices across the state, we are here to help. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free, no-risk consultation.

Tips to avoid distracted driving

away the smartphone.

Your phone should only be used in an emergency. If you need it for navigation, put in the address before you start driving, place the phone in a holder where it won’t fall, and turn on the navigation voice.

Remember that in Ohio use of a smartphone or texting while driving is against the law as a secondary offense to drivers over 18. Teen drivers under 18 can be stopped for cell phone use as a primary violation.

If you must use the phone to make a call or send a text or email, pull over and park your vehicle, preferably off the road such as in a parking lot.

Limit passengers.

If possible, don’t have a full car. Lots of passengers means lots of distractions like conversations, arguments over the music, or other activities that pull a driver’s focus from the road. When children are present, it is essential they understand the rules for safely riding in a car. Trying to discipline unruly children is a major distraction. The same goes for pets. They should be secured so that they cannot hinder your driving ability.

Make driving your only activity.

Distracted driving encompasses any activity while behind the wheel that is not related to the safe operation of the vehicle. You should not eat, drink, smoke, apply makeup, read, watch videos, or anything else that causes your mind to be off your primary task.

Don’t try to “find” things.

Taking your eyes off the road or a hand from the wheel to search the vehicle compartment for your phone, purse, snacks, or music is dangerous. If you need something that isn’t within easy reach, wait until your stop and then retrieve the item.

Look out for distracted drivers.

Avoiding being a distracted driver yourself lessens the risk that YOU cause an accident, but what about other distracted drivers around you? Drive defensively when traveling and always watch for those who may not be following the advice above. By avoiding distractions yourself, you will be better focused on other drivers and may be able to avoid accidents their poor driving can cause.

If a Distracted Driver Accident Occurs

With so many drivers on Ohio roads and the number of distracted driving accidents increasing, you may still be the victim of a crash despite your best efforts. If this happens, the Columbus car accident attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can fight for the compensation you deserve to help with medical expenses, lost wages and more.

Call 1-800-HURT-NOW today. Initial consults are always free, and there are no up-front fees. We only get paid when you recover compensation.