Last May, Republican Ohio state senator Andrew Brenner was seen wearing his seatbelt on Zoom during a state board meeting. The background he used made it appear he was Zooming from his home office, but he was really driving while using his phone.
Technology has proven that the flow of information never stops. Even when the world gets locked down, meetings still stream, and messages keep you constantly engaged and distracted.
Cell phone usage is a frequent cause of car accidents. If your life has been impacted by a distracted driver, the Cleveland distracted driving accident attorneys at Paulozzi LPA are here to find the truth.
At the beginning of the meeting, Senator Brenner appears to be in a parked car. Later, he adjusts his phone and edits his background to look like he is sitting in an office with a backdrop of hanging artwork, a plant, and some cabinets. During the Zoom call, he can be seen looking over his shoulder while changing lanes and wearing a seatbelt across his chest. Brenner appears to focus on the road as he answers questions concerning the state budget from other members of the Zoom meeting.
He later told The Columbus Dispatch he “wasn’t distracted” during the meeting and was “paying attention to the driving” during the Zoom discussion. He claimed he treated the meeting like a phone call and had taken “numerous calls while driving.”
Coincidentally, this incident coincided with Ohio’s House of Representatives introducing a distracted-driving bill. The bill seeks to explicitly ban:
The bill would elevate any of these actions from a secondary to a primary offense. Ohio lawmakers have worked for years to make distracted driving lawfully unacceptable and promote more responsible driving.
This is not the first time we have seen distracted driving during political video conferencing. Earlier this year, a Democratic Washington state senator attended a legislative video hearing while driving.
Perhaps even more disturbing, a California plastic surgeon multitasked by performing surgery while attending a Zoom traffic court.
It does not stop with the use of electronic devices while driving. There are so many ways to become distracted during driving—daydreaming, changing clothes, putting on makeup, dropping something and looking for it or trying to pick it up, drinking, eating, or focusing on passengers in the vehicle—these are just a few. But the most frequent culprit for drawing attention away from the road is the cell phone.
Every day distracted drivers cause accidents and injure those around them. It is important to document all the aspects of liability. Cases must be investigated, phone records collected, witness statements gathered, and experts brought in to reconstruct the accident.
If you or a loved one were impacted by a distracted driver, we can build a well-documented case and prove negligence to obtain fair compensation. Contact the Cleveland distracted driving accident attorneys at Paulozzi LPA for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling at 888-710-0040.