CLEVELAND — Every day, crashes happen on our highways. Many of them can be avoided, including distracted driving incidents.
"Unfortunately we’re seeing that it’s one of our still-contributing circumstances as far as crashes go," said Sgt. Ray Santiago, a spokesperson with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Statistics from OSHP show over the last five years, Cuyahoga County has recorded the second-highest number of distracted driving crashes, with nearly 6,000 collisions. So far in 2021, there have been 4,634 distraction-related crashes in Ohio. Cuyahoga County is leading the way with 391.
It's an issue the agency is desperately trying to tackle, so they launched a new website and dashboard dedicated to statistics and facts about distracted driving.
“By launching this dashboard, it’s really in the spirit of transparency and letting folks know, these are our efforts, this is what we’re trying to do to curb this problem," Santiago said.
Santiago said tools like this can help any Ohio driver see what it’s like where they drive the most.
“It makes things more relevant," he said. "They can see how exactly this is affecting their region, their county, their city, their street.”
The dashboard also includes information about how many citations have been issued and which roads are recording the most distracted driving crashes.
Distracted driving isn't just using a cell phone. It can also include applying makeup, looking at a GPS, eating or anything else that's taking a driver's hands away from the wheel and their eyes off the road.
“Staying educated and aware and kind of assist us in this process to keep our area safe is only going to make things all the more better," Santiago said.