Cell phones keep you connected constantly with your work and loved ones. However, they also take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off of driving. For this reason, Ohio’s statutes restrict the use of electronic devices while you’re operating a vehicle.

Motorists who are age 18 or older are prohibited from writing, sending or reading a text. Drivers who are younger than 18 years old are banned from:

  • Texting
  • Emailing
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Connecting to such devices as Bluetooth, Bluetooth speakers or OnStar
  • Using computers, laptops or tablets
  • Playing video games
  • Operating a GPS, except for a voice-operated or a handsfree system

Why is cell phone use so dangerous? After all, it just takes a moment to write, send or read a text message or to place a quick phone call. These statistics compiled by Distraction.gov highlight the very real hazards of using electronic devices while driving:

  • Sending or receiving a text message diverts a motorist’s eyes from the roadway for approximately 4.6 seconds, which is like driving the length of an entire football field at 55 mph blindfolded.
  • In 2011, 3,331 traffic fatalities involved distracted drivers.
  • In 2011, 387,000 people were injured in auto wrecks involving distracted drivers.
  • In 2011, 10 percent of all injurious motor vehicle accidents were attributed to distracted drivers.
  • The risk of a car crash increases threefold when a driver engages in a handheld phone or portable device-related visual-manual activity — such as dialing, texting or reaching for a cell phone.
  • Using headset cell phones, as opposed to handheld devices, substantially reduces the risk for accidents.

If you have been injured in a car crash, an Ohio auto accident attorney can investigate whether texting, emailing, talking on a cell phone or other distractions contributed.