Distracted Driving Contributes to Rise in Ohio Traffic Fatalities

Distracted Driving Contributes to Rise in Ohio Traffic Fatalities

Traffic accidents, particularly distracted driving accidents, continue to be a serious problem in Ohio. Traffic accident fatalities in 2019 have surpassed 2018 by more than 50, with 1,119 deaths reported this year, compared to 1,068 deaths in 2018. In a recent story on NBC4I, Governor Mike DeWine lamented that “Distracted driving involving smartphones is, without a doubt, a major contributing factor to this increase in traffic fatalities.”

Along with more than 1,000 fatalities each year, there are thousands more serious injuries caused by several hundred thousand traffic collisions. These accidents cause Ohio an estimated $13 billion per year in lost earnings and increased healthcare costs.

The Ohio Department of Transportation works with public and local and state and federal agencies to create and enforce traffic laws and educate the public about road safety and accident prevention. Many of these accident reduction efforts focus on driver behavior: eliminating distractions, wearing a seat belt, always being sober behind the wheel, and adhering to the speed limit.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) compiles statistics on all traffic crashes, categorizing them by fatalities, injuries, and property damage, day of the week and time of day, as well as identifying factors.  Youth related collisions are the second-highest category of crash types, most of which occur between 3 pm and 6 pm. From the OSHP, we know that more crashes happen on Fridays than any other day of the week.

Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) crashes continue to be a problem in Ohio, not just from alcohol, but from marijuana and prescription drugs. Comparing 2019 to 2014, OVI related crashes are down by about 12%. This decrease is likely attributed to an increase in ridesharing services and increased efforts by law enforcement to crack down on drunk and drugged driving.  

More than 90% of car crashes involve human error. You can reduce your risk of being involved in an accident greatly by following three simple rules:

  1. Stay off your phone while driving
  2. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  3. Do not speed or run red lights

If you are injured as the result of an automobile accident and would like to know more about your legal rights in a personal injury claim, contact the legal team at GB Law today at 614-810-8806. We offer a free case review to answer your questions and determine how we can help.

FAQ: What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need When I’m At Fault In A Car Accident?

Car accidents are frightening, unfamiliar events, and people who are injured in a car accident are often uncertain about their legal rights and what to do. If you are partially at fault for an accident, you may believe that you cannot recover any money for your injuries. Fault can be attributed to speeding, distracted driving, failing to look or see another motorist when you should have, or other actions or inactions.

You may believe you were at fault based on your own experience in the accident because of information in the police report or because you do not remember exactly what happened. The insurance company may state you were at fault based on another party’s witness statement. It is always advisable to not speculate on fault or admit fault when you contact the insurance company to report the accident. Do not provide a recorded statement to the adjuster, and ideally, contact a lawyer as soon as possible once you have gotten medical attention.

Even if you were at fault, you may still be able to seek and recover compensation. Prior to 1980, if you were partially at fault for a car accident in Ohio you could not recover compensation. But in 1980, Ohio passed a “comparative negligence” law, allowing individuals to recover compensation for injuries, as long as they are not more than 50% at fault. If you’re involved in an accident and are up to 50% at fault, you can file a claim for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Your share of fault in a collision may be decided by the insurance company, but this assessment isn’t necessarily final. Your personal injury lawyer can advocate for your degree of fault and may also take your case to trial, to be decided by a judge or a jury.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and are unsure if you caused the collision for any reason, including being distracted, don’t self-dismiss your case and assume you have no rights. Talk to an experienced and reputable personal injury lawyer. At GB Law, we have represented numerous individuals in personal injury or wrongful death claims involving partial fault and comparative negligence. We will review your case for free, answer your questions, and provide an experienced-based opinion of the value of your case. Call us today at 614-810-8806.