This report makes it clear that the problem of texting while driving justifies that some action needs to be taken by our state to keep drivers safe.
Toledo, OH (PRWEB) July 19, 2011
Toledo personal injury attorney Michael D. Bell says a recently released report on distracted driving provides strong support for Ohio to adopt a statewide ban on texting while driving for motorists of all ages.
The report, issued July 7 by the Governors Highway Safety Association, features a review of more than 350 scientific studies on distracted driving. The GHSA concludes that “texting likely increases crash risk more than cell phone use” and recommends that all states prohibit texting while driving.
Just one week prior to the report’s release, the Ohio House of Representatives voted in favor of a statewide texting ban similar to ones that are in place in 34 other states and the District of Columbia. The measure is expected to go before the Ohio Senate in the coming months.
“This report makes it clear that the problem of texting while driving justifies that some action needs to be taken by our state to keep drivers safe,” said Bell, a senior associate attorney with the Toledo personal injury law firm of Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.
Bell’s legal practice is dedicated to representing accident and injury victims throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including handling personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of those who have lost loved ones to car crashes.
“Safe driving comes down to individual decisions,” Bell said. “Just as seat belt laws have led to more drivers buckling up in their cars, my hope would be that a texting ban would lead to more drivers putting down their iPhone or Blackberry when they’re behind the wheel.”
In an article on the Ohio law firm’s blog site, askgallonlaw.com, Bell noted that, since January 2010, a City of Toledo ordinance has banned texting while driving. The proposed Ohio law would give the state’s motorists a six-month warning period before enforcement kicks in.
“I understand that these texting bans are difficult to enforce,” Bell said. “However, without a ban in place, it sends a message that it’s somehow OK to text while driving, and as the GHSA report shows, that is a dangerous message to be sending to our state’s motorists.”
The GHSA report cites four studies that have found that texting “increases the time that a driver’s eyes are not on the road and also affects speed and lane-position variability.”
“The lack of focus while driving can also lead to delayed braking at stop signs and red lights and cause a driver to be unable to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, motorcyclist or bicyclist,” Bell said.
According to the Toledo lawyer, the problem highlighted by the GHSA report is that, despite the obvious risks of texting behind the wheel, a large percentage of drivers engage in the practice.
According to the report, 24 percent of motorists said they had texted while driving within the past month, while 7 percent said they texted “fairly often or regularly.” The 18-24 age range was reported to have the highest rate of texting while driving.
“These drivers need to be dissuaded from their negligent and reckless conduct,” Bell said, “and when their careless driving causes serious injury or death, they need to be held accountable. That’s why it’s important to seek legal assistance immediately if an individual or their family member has been harmed by a distracted driver.”
About Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer
Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. is a full service Toledo law firm that represents working men and women, individuals with disabilities and labor unions throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, including the communities of Toledo, Findlay, Bowling Green, Northwood, Oregon, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Lima, Defiance, Fremont, Sandusky and Waterville. In addition to a general practice, the firm assists clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, labor and bankruptcy cases. The firm’s personal injury areas include construction injuries, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-falls, farming injuries, defective products, medical malpractice and nursing home injuries. For more information, call Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. at (800) 352-1976 or use its online form.