SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Thursday it will launch a distracted driving safety corridor on I-70 in Clark County.

A section of I-70 between milepost 44 to milepost 52 is being designated as a distracted driving safety corridor, according to OSHP. Drivers will see an increased presence of troopers within this area in an effort to reduce crashes.

According to OSHP, in 2019, 48 people lost their lives and 7,200 were injured in 13,532 crashes as a result of distracted driving. Troopers say sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling 55 mph.

“The dangers of distracted driving are apparent to everyone, but motorists still choose to participate in this dangerous behavior,” said Lieutenant Brian Aller, Springfield Post commander.  “The purpose of establishing this corridor is to bring further awareness and education to the problem of distracted driving.”

OSHP said distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving.  Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.

The public is encouraged to use #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity.