The holiday season brings out the worst in driving behavior. Mix winter conditions with stressed out drivers - many of whom have been drinking alcohol - and you have a recipe for a bad accident.
In a previous blog post we discussed the differences between economic and noneconomic damages under Ohio law. Currently, victims of drunk driving accidents have little difficulty in recovering economic damages. Basically, victims can usually receive compensation for expenses which are verifiable through documentation such as paycheck stubs, medical bills, etc.
On Oct. 1, state troopers say that a Buick Park Avenue struck a bicyclist in Moorefield Township Ohio. The accident occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. along Ohio 4. A spokesman for the Ohio State Patrol's Springfield Post indicated that both the car and the bicycle were traveling in the same direction just prior to the accident, near the intersection of Mechanicsburg Road and Bosart Road.
Ohio has made tremendous progress towards increasing public awareness about drunk driving and reducing the amount of those types of accidents on our roads. Unfortunately, there are still far too many reckless individuals who choose to drink and then get behind the wheel. The accidents they cause creates untold misery among their victims and often leave them with thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses.
A proposed resolution now making its way through to the Ohio Statehouse takes a new view on how to prevent drunk drivers from taking the road. HB 469, "Annie's Law", is a new proposal sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving which would require the installation of an ignition interlock device into the vehicles of any person convicted of drunk driving. The ignition interlock device is essentially a Breathalyzer machine designed to disrupt the ignition mechanism of a car once it detects the odor of alcohol. The contraption is usually installed near the driver's seat and intended for the driver to blow into it before it will allow the car to start.
On May 22, the Ohio State Highway Patrol conducted a mock crash drill at Indian Creek High School in Wintersville, Ohio. The troopers worked in conjunction with multiple first responders to give high school kids a sobering look at what a drunk driving accident might look like in real life.
Bicycle accidents are usually lead to some of the most serious injuries on the roadway. Bicyclists have little to protect them from the car or the road surface, apart from a helmet. The injuries suffered in a collision with a vehicle are often severe, and require significant medical treatment. As a result, many bicyclists who are hit by a motorist suffer from heavy medical bills, physical therapy costs and lost wages. Permanent physical disability is also a very real possibility.
When a driver makes the choice to drink and drive, he places everyone else on the road at risk. Though we often think of drunk driving accidents as occurring between two motor vehicles, the fact is, pedestrians and bicyclists are at even greater risk than motorists.
Safe driving is the responsibility of any person who decides to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Unfortunately, not all drivers take this responsibility seriously. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to impaired decision making, which can lead to accidents. Worse yet, it's well known that drunk driving accidents can often be very serious. Personal injury, property damage and even death can occur. Local residents might like to know that Ohio has taken a stand against people who repeatedly drive drunk.