The good news: motor vehicle accidents on Ohio streets and highways resulting in death have decreased in recent years. The bad news: more than 1,000 drivers, passengers and pedestrians lost their lives last year in Ohio. Truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and other tragedies that result in wrongful deaths cause tremendous heartache for an even larger number of family members and other loved ones.
Statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) show that Ohio traffic deaths fell from 1,321 to 1,081 between 2005 and 2010, a nearly 20 percent drop. However, the latest statistics on fatal highway wrecks do show a rise in some counties. In the greater Cincinnati area, Montgomery County, Butler County, Warren County and Hamilton County have so far recorded fewer traffic fatalities in 2011 than at the same time last year, but Clermont County and Greene County have seen increases.
One reason the OSHP credits for the overall decrease is its Metropolitan Traffic Safety Initiative, instituted in 2006. This program focused enforcement efforts on Ohio’s major cities where crash frequency was highest, allowing troopers to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies to strategize traffic enforcement priorities. The OSHP now uses extensive data on crash times, traffic congestion, seasonal factors, commuting patterns and other variables to identify areas where increased trooper visibility and enforcement should make the most difference.
Partnerships to Increase Drunk Driving Awareness
Risky driving behaviors such as aggressive driving, speeding and distracted driving might be less likely when negligent drivers know and see that law enforcement is watching. Reducing the risks of OVI accidents also means trying to stop the offender before he or she gets behind the wheel.
To that end, one other goal of the Metropolitan Traffic Safety Initiative has been to develop and implement education plans that focus on accident-related behaviors such as drunk driving. A good example of this is the OSHP’s Partners for Safety Award, which recognizes organizations that engage in local level partnerships to promote traffic safety initiatives.
The University of Cincinnati Bearcats football program received the most recent award for efforts to promote traffic safety to students, fans and the general public. Specific education initiatives included a widely circulated “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” TV commercial and poster. Bearcats fans also received wallet-sized cards describing the risks of OVI, along with info about Cincinnati-area taxi cab companies, distributed by troopers and other local law enforcement officers at Nippert Stadium.
Protecting Injured Drivers and Passengers After a Truck or Car Accident
The bad news: recent Ohio highway fatalities statistics make it perfectly clear that we all face serious dangers every day when commuting, running errands and traveling to activities. In addition to the tragic losses faced by families, the OSHP estimates that fatal car accidents in metropolitan areas alone create a nearly $400 million annual economic burden in Ohio. When all other serious accidents from throughout the state are factored in, the amount is all the more astronomical.
The good news: Ohio motor vehicle accident attorneys help injury victims and wrongful death survivors hold negligent individuals accountable for those tremendous costs. From property losses to emergency room costs, lost income and long-term medical care expenses, a lawyer can stand up for a plaintiff and provide compelling reasons why an insurance company should maximize compensation for a client.
When car accident settlement offers are unfair, a personal injury lawyer can explore all other legal options for recovery of damages. Ideally, with improvements to vehicle safety, reductions in reckless driver behavior and better understanding of road hazards, Ohio can reduce car, truck and motorcycle accident fatalities much further. But in the aftermath of any serious motor vehicle crash, access to clear legal advice and dedicated representation will always have value.