MOUNT GILEAD — LeAnne Gompf is known for wearing several hats, including that of funeral home owner, real estate agent and holding various community board positions.
Last Wednesday Gompf spoke about another topic that’s become a passion, that being the dangers of distracted driving.
“Texting and driving or talking on the phone — anything that distracts you from the road — puts you at a 22.4 percent higher risk of having an accident than having a blood alcohol level of .08,” Gompf told members of the Mount Gilead Kiwanis Club.
Gompf stressed awareness to avoid distracted driving, including three tips.
“Plan ahead. Take control of your driving. Clear your mind,” she said.
“Set your destination before driving. Today I passed three people coming to work who had their phones up above the steering wheel.”
Gompf encouraged the use of an application that allows you to alert callers that you are driving and cannot accept a text or call. She also said businesses can be liable if an employee is involved in an accident while working and distracted driving was the cause.
Distracted driving accounts for nearly 421,000 accidents and more than 3,000 deaths every year, according to national statistics.
“Six billion text messages are sent each day,” Gompf said.
“What is the most important text you’ve ever received? Is it worth dying for? Is it worth killing for?”
Adult drivers have to be stopped, first, for some other infraction in Ohio. Drivers under the age of 18 caught texting or using any electronic wireless communication device while driving face a $150 fine and a six-month license suspension for the first offense.