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Cincinnati Car Accident Law Blog

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.

Brain injury victims have important resources available to them

Any type of brain injury can have a significant impact on the lives of victims and their families. Brain injuries can occur in a variety of different types of motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accident victims may be especially vulnerable because of the less protected nature of motorcycles and their riders. Any brain injury can present lifelong consequences for victims and their families.

When a motorcycle accident victim, or victim of another type of motor vehicle accident, has suffered a brain injury, they may be left facing an uncertain future that includes adjustments to daily living with a brain injury, an inability to work as a result of the brain injury and mounting medical care treatment costs. Treatment of brain injuries can be costly, ongoing and challenging as victims may suffer from physical, cognitive and emotional difficulties as a result of a brain injury.

Trucker health could be a major factor in a truck accident

With truck accidents in Ohio and across the U.S., the circumstances that are specific to the accident are often the focus of the police investigation. This is particularly true when there are injuries and fatalities. In some instances, the truck driver may have had a variety of health problems that should have been addressed before he or she was allowed on the road. This can be important evidence when seeking compensation after an accident.

Research has found that drivers who have health problems are more likely to be in a truck accident. According to a study by the University of Utah, truckers who have at least three medical conditions are two to four times more likely to be in an accident in comparison to healthier drivers. While it can be difficult for truck drivers to be hyper-vigilant about such health factors as diet and exercise, the truck company should be cognizant of how an unhealthy trucker can place others at risk.

Head-on car crash injures Ohio deputy

Law enforcement officers in Cincinnati are at constant risk to their personal safety. This is a foundational aspect of doing their jobs. Most of the dangers they face have to do with helping others and investigating crimes. However, there are also times when they are placed in danger in a fashion similar to civilians. This is particularly true when they are on the road. Auto accidents can happen to anyone, and for a multitude of reasons, whether it is distraction, recklessness, intoxication or circumstance. Just like anyone else, when there is a car crash, law enforcement officers and their families must take steps to protect themselves with a possible legal filing.

Recently, a man driving a truck ran into the opposite lane of the road and crashed head-on with a deputy. The accident occurred at around 4:15 a.m. The deputy became trapped in his cruiser. Rescue crews were called and helped to extricate the deputy from the vehicle. He was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed as having a broken leg. The driver of the truck had minor injuries and also received treatment. According to the initial investigation, the truck driver was not intoxicated. It is believed that fatigue was the main factor in the car accident.

Eating and drinking is a known cause of distracted driving

Drivers in Ohio and across the country can be distracted in a multitude of ways. While the common issues that can lead to a distracted driver is use of a smartphone, texting and other activities with the device, drivers can also be distracted by eating and drinking. Research has been examining the numerous issues that lead to a distraction and eating and drinking is a notorious problem. For those who are in car accident, a factor to consider as its cause is whether the other driver was doing this.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that driving while eating or drinking increases the chance of a car crash by 70 percent vs. those who are not eating or drinking. This comes in second to a driver who holds a cellphone or speaks on a cellphone with a hands-free device as ways for drivers to be distracted. While other distracting behaviors are more prominently known as risky, eating or drinking is frequently ignored in spite of its danger.

Ohio car accident victim with eight children dies

When there is a fatal car accident in Ohio, the aftermath can cause numerous different problems for the family left behind. This can include not being able to make ends meet, having to deal with the emotional aspects of the death and more. This is particularly true when there are children left behind. After automobile accidents, the family needs to make certain that it takes the necessary steps to pursue compensation through a legal filing.

A 47-year-old car accident victim who was paralyzed in early January and died two weeks later left behind eight children. The man's family has been the beneficiary of a local school swim team's fundraising that has, to this point, raised more than $13,000. The man and his family had been helpful with the swim team and were active in their church. He had worked for local school districts. According to the law enforcement report of the accident, it occurred at around 8 a.m. when a truck driver had missed his turn and then backed up. When that happened, the man's Hyudnai Sonata was hit causing his injuries and eventual death.

Demographics and pedestrian-car accident rates in Ohio

Research into various kinds of accidents is constantly being conducted by government agencies and independent groups to determine why they happen and how they can be reduced or prevented. Pedestrian accidents are prominent in these studies. In Ohio, the number of pedestrians who are killed in a car accident ranks just beyond the middle for the U.S. Even that is too many. Understanding the demographics and reasons why these incidents occur is fine, but those who have already had a loved one suffer catastrophic injuries and die as a car accident victim while walking should be aware of the numbers so they can consider a legal claim for compensation.

There are more than 4,600 people who die in a pedestrian accident with a car on an annual basis. A report from the National Complete Street Coalition entitled "Dangerous by Design" states that every day, 13 people are a car accident victim as a pedestrian. The most common victims are the elderly and people of color. Ohio is ranked 27th in the nation for number of pedestrians killed with just below 1,000 for the decade between 2005 and 2014. This particular report asserts that poorly designed streets are why there are this number of deaths. Many happen on streets in which vehicles are moving at a rapid pace and there are limited available safe areas for pedestrians to walk.

Legal help seeking compensation after a motorcycle accident

Motorcycles are a frequent sight on the road in Ohio. While the majority of drivers will share the road with a motorcyclist and do so making sure that everyone is safe, motorcycle unawareness is a common problem that can lead to a crash. Failure to yield, lack of judgment and driving while distracted are all frequent causes of a motorcycle accident. Compounding the issues that go along with a motorcycle accident is the vulnerability of the rider or riders. This can result in severe injuries and even fatalities.

Because a motorcyclist is not accorded the protection that a person in a car is, even an accident that does not appear to be significant can cause major injuries and death. There can be broken bones, head injuries, loss of limbs and more. The motorcyclist will miss time at work and face massive medical costs as he or she is hospitalized, has surgery and requires rehabilitation. Head injuries can occur whether the person was wearing a helmet or not. The injured motorcyclist might need to have constant care for the rest of his or her life and will never fully recover.

NHTSA study shows rise in car accidents continues

Given the number of negative aftereffects of a car crash like medical costs, lost time at work and even death, Ohioans and those across the U.S. should keep track of the statistics of these incidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatalities on the road increased by approximately eight percent over the first nine months of 2016 from that same period in 2015. This is a continuation of the rise that has been in place for several years. The agency says that this coincides with the rising number of drivers who are on the road for longer periods of time.

The number of fatalities surpasses the increase in travel. The miles traveled from January through September increased by around three percent. In the first nine months of 2016, just under 27,900 people were killed on the road. For that same period of time in 2015, the number was more than 2,000 fewer. Researchers believe the reason for more travel is the stronger economy and reduction in the price of gas. The caveat was added that the rise in fatalities cannot be attributed solely to those two factors.

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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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