Ohio Car Accidents And Real-Life Aftermath Of Distracted Driving, Experienced In Driving Simulators Now Used By Insurance Companies
Ohio car accidents news reports have focused on distracted driving simulators that are now a part of impaired and distracted driving education programs. These, distracted driving simulator, are used by insurance companies, governments, safety organizations, and schools nationwide. One popular program is the Arrive Alive Tour that has high school and college students simulating how sending a text message or being intoxicated can cause a crash. Creating simulations that target younger drivers is intentional since drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distracted-related fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) also uses simulators in an effort to reduce Ohio car accidents and Ohio distracted driving. Participants get behind the wheel of an ODOT simulator, buckles up, and while driving, receives a phone call, sends a computer-generated text message, and listens to passengers’ conversations. Before long, the driver makes a mistake and ends up in a crash. The driver then faces simulated interactions with police, medical staff and a judge.
Distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving,” according to Distraction.gov. Distractions not only endanger drivers and passengers, but bystanders as well.
According to the NHTSA, 2,955 fatal crashes in the United States in 2014 involved distraction (10 percent of all fatal crashes). Statistics for Ohio car accidents and Ohio distracted driving show distracted driving accounted for 13,261 crashes in 2015, and 39 of those crashes ended in fatalities. Talking on the phone, texting, and sending emails were the distractions for 24 percent of all distracted drivers in Ohio, but 41 percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes, up from 31 percent in 2014.
Ohio legislators want to toughen existing Ohio distracted driving, and texting while driving laws with three pending bills. If Ohio House Bill 86 is passed, drivers would have to pay a $100 fine for the first distracted driving offense and a $300 fine for subsequent offenses. Similarly, House Bill 88 would change texting while driving from a secondary offense for adults to a primary offense. Currently, texting while driving is only a primary offense for drivers under 18. Ohio Senate Bill 146 was passed in June 2015 which adds a $100 penalty to moving violation offenses involving distracted driving. The bill is now pending in the House Judiciary Committee.
While tougher laws may be one way to reduce Ohio car accidents and Ohio distracted driving, programs using Distracted Driving Simulators also appear to be effective. For instance, Allstate reported that in 2013, more than 1,700 drivers participated in its “Realty Rides” simulations which included the types of consequences distracted drivers could face in “real-life” situations. The company’s survey found 73 percent of participants said they “learned more about distracted driving after experiencing the simulation while 83 percent found it ‘fun and effective.’”