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Cincinnati Car Accident Law Blog

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.

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.

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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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