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Cincinnati Car Accident Law Blog

Four critically injured and one dead in Ohio 81-car crash

Most of the time, when we hop in the car, nothing significance happens. We safely arrive at our destination and then go back home. Unfortunately, whether one is driving down the interstate in bumper-to-bumper traffic or taking a more scenic route, it is possible that the drive will end in a car crash.

For example, an Ohio woman lost her life and four other individuals suffered injuries after being involved in an auto wreck on Ohio 81. The deceased woman, age 57, was sitting in the passenger seat of a convertible when the accident occurred.

Keeping the roads safe for Ohio motorcyclists

Spring has sprung in Ohio, and many motorcycle enthusiasts are taking their bikes out of storage and hitting the road. In fact, May has been designated as motorcycle safety month, and it serves as a good reminder to all motorists that they must share the road with motorcyclists, whether it is on a crowded interstate or a rural country road.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that approximately 4,000 motorcycle crashes occurred in the state in 2016. In fact, the amount of fatal motorcycle crashes in Ohio rose 45 percent between the years of 2014 and 2016. With approximately 480,000 motorcycles currently registered in the state, this places Ohio as one of the top five states with regard to the number of people who own motorcycles. This makes motorcycle awareness of great importance.

Drugged driving is a growing concern in Ohio

Most people are aware of the dangers that driving under the influence of alcohol presents. They know that alcohol can alter a person's reaction time, perception and motor control, all of which could lead to drunk driving accidents. However, a growing concern in Ohio is the number of people who drive while under the influence of drugs.

The Governor's Highway Safety Association, along with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, has reported that, for the first time ever, the number of deadly accidents associated with drugged driving in 2015 was greater than the number of deadly accidents associated with drunk driving. In fact, the Ohio Department of Transportation also claims that in Ohio, since 2012, there has been a 25 percent uptick in accidents involving a drugged driver. In 2016, approximately 33 percent of crashes caused by an impaired driver involved drugged driving.

Holding negligent truck drivers accountable in Cincinnati

Semi-trucks traverse our nation's highways, making it possible to transport goods nationwide, which in turn benefits our nation's economy. Most people driving on highways in Cincinnati can expect that they will be driving in the company of semi-trucks. They naturally expect that semi-truck drivers will take the care necessary to drive safely. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

Semi-trucks drivers are often encouraged -- or even incentivized -- by their employers to make as many deliveries in as short an amount of time as possible. This may lead them to drive aggressively or to drive while fatigued. Unfortunately, such negligence can lead to devastating accidents.

2015 was a deadly year for truck accidents

In Cincinnati and across the nation semi-trucks and buses play an integral role in interstate commerce. Because of semi-trucks, oranges grown in California can reach store shelves in New York. However, truck accidents have the potential to be deadly affairs.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 4,000 large trucks and buses were involved in a deadly accident in 2015. This is an 8 percent uptick when compared to the number of deadly accidents involving large trucks and buses 2014. The amount of deadly large truck and bus accidents has gone up 26 percent since 2009, but is down from its peak of over 5,000 deadly accidents involving large trucks and buses in 2005.

Tougher drunk driving laws in Ohio effective as of April 4

A law has recently taken effect that aims to prevent incidents of drunk driving. Known as "Annie's Law," the new law institutes harsher penalties for those convicted of drunk driving and would also institute a new system affecting those who are convicted of drunk driving a second time or more. The law is named after a woman who passed away after being struck by a repeat drunk driver. The law went into effect April 4.

Under the new law, if a first-time offender agrees to have an ignition interlock device mounted on their vehicle, which will keep an automobile from starting if the motorist's blood alcohol content is above 0.08 percent, then the 13 month license suspension period would be reduced by 50 percent. For first-time OVI convictions, the mandatory minimum driver's license suspension has been raised from six months to twelve months. In addition, judges can examine a decade's worth of the drunk driver's driving record, rather than just six years. Other states in the nation with laws like these have seen the number of OVI fatalities in their state reduced by 50 percent.

Drugged driving is becoming a serious issue in Ohio

The dangers of combining driving with alcohol use are well-known and most people in Cincinnati try to avoid drunk driving. However, it is also important not to drive while high on drugs. Drugged driving can also be extremely dangerous.

Take, for example, a recent incident on Interstate 75. In this incident, a person who was reportedly high on heroin led police on a 25-mile high-speed car chase. The chase ended in a deadly collision that claimed the life of an innocent motorist who was just trying to leave his home. The drugged driver was ultimately apprehended. In another recent example, a drugged driver caused a collision on Interstate 75. His vehicle was located in a tree line area. The driver had reportedly overdosed on drugs.

How does the term 'uninsured' differ from 'underinsured' in Ohio?

Whether it is a relatively minor fender-bender or a more serious collision, getting into a car accident at best can merely ruin your day and at worst cause serious injuries necessitating a great deal of medical care and rehabilitation. No matter what, when an accident strikes, most people in Ohio are thankful they and the other party have car insurance to help foot the bill. However, sometimes a person gets into an accident with someone who is "uninsured" or "underinsured." What do these two terms mean?

In Ohio, per state law, all motorists must carry proof that they can pay for the damages they inflict on another if they cause a motor vehicle accident. Usually people do this through purchasing car insurance that contains liability coverage. In Ohio, the minimum amount required is $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per collision. If a person does not meet this dollar amount, he or she will be considered to be "uninsured."

Ohio bill adds additional penalties for distracted driving

While they were once seen as a luxury 20 years ago, these days just about everyone in Cincinnati uses a cell phone. Moreover, with the advent of smartphones, cell phones these days can do more than ever before. Not only can they make phone calls, but they can text, access social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, take photos, send and receive emails and so much more. However, cell phone use can be distracting, especially while trying to engage in another task, such as driving. Oftentimes, when a person combines cell phone use and driving, it has the potential to lead to a devastating auto accident.

Two Ohio State Representatives, Rep. Bill Seitz and Rep. Jim Hughes, are tackling distracted driving head-on through the introduction of a bill that would increase penalties related to texting and driving. House Bill 95 would impose a $100 fine, in addition to other current penalties for traffic infractions, if the driver of a motor vehicle was using a "handheld electronic communication device." That includes not just cell phones, but also tablets and laptop computers.

Truck drivers with health conditions can pose greater risk

It is no secret that distracted and fatigued drivers can be particularly dangerous on our roadways. Truck accidents can be particularly serious for victims when drivers are distracted or fatigued because of the significant size discrepancy between trucks and the motor vehicles they share the roadways with. While experience and skill level contribute to the safety of truck drivers, a new study recently revealed that truck drivers with 3 or more medical conditions can pose an increased danger on the roadways.

A study conducted by the University of Utah School of Medicine found that commercial truck drivers who have 3 or more medical conditions double or quadruple their chances of being involved in a truck accident when compared to more healthy drivers. Even somewhat minor health conditions, the study found, if the drivers have several of them, can increase the truck driver's truck accident risk and the amount of danger they pose on the roadways.

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At Gregory S. Young Co., LPA, our lawyers have one goal: to help you rebuild your life after an accident. We are committed to getting you and your family the resources your need to treat your injuries, pay your bills and move forward to a brighter future.

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