Ohio fans of the television show 30 Rock may have been keeping up with the news surrounding comedian Tracy Morgan's recovery from the serious truck accident he was involved in more than a year ago. In the accident in 2014, a Walmart tractor trailer collided into the limo bus Morgan was in, injuring him severely and killing the fellow comedian in his car. At the time, the truck driver had not slept in 28 hours and had driven more than 800 miles recently. And surprisingly, though the National Transportation Safety Board blames driver fatigue for the crash, this was not against regulations.
Even though car accidents have generally been declining over the past few decades, in Ohio as well as the rest of the country, the last two years have seen a surprising and unfortunate increase in crashes. Though the official numbers have not been released yet, so far the Ohio Highway Patrol has recorded an unfortunate 1073 deaths on the roads in 2015. The number of traffic deaths is expected to keep rising, as the final numbers will be available somewhere in March. This is the second time in a row that traffic deaths have risen in Ohio-in 2014 the number went up to 1008 from the 990 in 2013.
Drivers in Ohio are undoubtedly aware of the risks they face when driving. However, the numbers regarding how many people were killed in a car accident in 2015 are concerning. As the year drew to a close, law enforcement stepped up its efforts to prevent any more holiday crashes from contributing to the growing number of deaths. That, however, does not change the number of people who already died in crashes during the year, nor can it stop most accidents from happening.
Since trucks are so ubiquitous on Ohio roadways, there is an inherent trust that others on the road will have with the drivers of these large, heavy vehicles that are frequently traveling at a high rate of speed. That trust can be violated if the trucker gets behind the wheel while intoxicated. Combine the size and speed of the vehicles with a drunk driver and the situation can be dangerous in multiple ways.