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The effects of distracted driving

Think that you are only taking your eyes off the road for a split second when looking at texts or tweets on your phone? Think again. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says it's more like five seconds.

Perhaps that still does not sound like a long time for someone to be driving essentially blind. But anything can happen in five seconds, especially when powerful motor vehicles are involved. Troopers say that a car going 55 miles per hour travels the length of a football field in five seconds. Quite a distance for the driver to pay more attention to his or her phone than surrounding traffic.

Some more distracted driving facts: in Ohio, distracted driving was blamed for more than 13,000 collisions and 43 deaths in 2015. Ohio law bans using a phone while driving, but it is only a secondary violation for drivers over 18, while it is a primary violation for drivers under 18.

Of course, while phones might be the most common distraction for drivers, anything that takes splits your attention can raise the risk of a crash. Eating, personal grooming, even changing the radio can be potentially dangerous when you are driving.

We know our readers don't commit distracted driving, but it does not take long for a responsible driver to spot a distracted driver. Unfortunately, nobody can say for sure they will never be hit by someone who chose looking at their phone over their duty to keep others on the road reasonably safe.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, there is no time to lose ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. Besides getting medical attention, the best thing you can do after a wreck is consult with a personal injury attorney.

Source: WKBN-TV, "Ride along with troopers reveals dangers of distracted driving," Julie Bercik, Apr. 20, 2016

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