Distracted driving takes many forms

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Distracted driving is most commonly thought of in terms of texting or using a cell phone while driving.  However, many other activities can result in distracted driving.

To illustrate, earlier this month, Ohio Senator Bob Peterson, was involved in a crash on Interstate 71 in Pickaway County. Peterson admitted that he was distracted by a parking pass that was hanging on his rear view mirrow,  He found the dangling pass annoying and decided to remove it.  Peterson admits he was looking over and reaching in the passenger’s seat of his Dodge Caravan.  This Because he was not looking at the roadway, Peterson failed to see a tractor trailer in front of his vehicle, and crashed into the back of the truck.  Witnesses state that Peterson never braked before the crash.  Senator Peterson was cited for assured clear distance ahead, a minor misdemeanor. 

Peterson admits he learned a major lesson about distracted driving.  He has a large senate district – covering 10 Ohio counties – and he drives around 60,000 miles a year.  Peterson said he has always been a stickler for not texting.

“I’ve told my kids, if you text and drive, you’re stupid.” he said.  He admits that he hadn’t thought about other forms of distracted driving.  Injuries from the crash kept Peterson from his job for several days.  When he returned, he thanked his colleagues and sent this message: “Make sure when you’re behind the wheel, your focus in always on the road first.”

Distracted driving can be caused by eating and drinking, responding to the needs of children, unrestrained pets in the car, applying make up, adjusting controls on the dashboard – anything that diverts the driver’s attention and/or eyes from the roadway.