Car Accident Risk Factors in Ohio

The Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) reports there were a total of 282,368 traffic accidents in 2014, leading to more than 1,000 deaths in 919 crashes. According to Ohio’s Traffic Crash Facts 2014, some of the most common risks that led to these car crash injuries and fatalities include:

Fatigued Driving

According to the same report, drivers falling asleep or fainting at the wheel caused 1,361 injuries and 15 deaths in 2014. If you are drowsy, it is a good idea to stop for the night or to let someone else drive.

Almost 30 percent of all fatalities in Ohio in 2014 involved alcohol-impaired drivers. ODPS reports there were 12,353 alcohol-related crashes, leading to almost 300 deaths.

All of these crashes were entirely avoidable, had the drunk driver simply chosen to call a cab or assign a designated driver instead. If you are going to drink, make plans for a safe ride home before going out.

Failing to Maintain Control of the Vehicle

Losing control of the car is a major cause of accidents in Ohio. During 2014, “failure to control” was listed as a factor in almost 20 percent of all fatal accidents. This includes crashes that led to 181 deaths and more than 11,900 injuries.

Slowing down, paying close attention to the road, and driving more carefully in in circumstances where you are likely to lose control of your car may help prevent a number of these accidents.

Driving at Unsafe Speeds

Speeding played a role in over 13,000 Ohio car accidents in 2014, including 14.1 percent of all fatality crashes. You can help protect yourself and your loved ones by slowing down and obeying the posted speed limits.

It is important to remember that there are also times when inclement weather or other factors make the posted speed unsafe. In these situations, drive as slow as you need to in order to maintain control of your vehicle.

Distracted Driving

A dozen people died on Ohio roads in 2014 because drivers were distracted by their cell phones, according to Traffic Crash Facts 2014. An additional 2,479 crash injuries were linked to distractions inside the vehicle.

Whether you are making a call, texting, or emailing, using a cell phone while driving can be extremely dangerous. Do not make calls unless it is urgent, and even then it is a good idea to pull over in a safe place or use a hands-free device.

Note: Texting while driving is against the law in Ohio and carries misdemeanor penalties.

Factors That May Increase Injury Severity

There are certainly factors that increase your potential of being in an accident, but there are also factors that can increase your potential for injury when in an accident. Common factors include:

Not wearing a seatbelt: Ohio drivers who choose not to wear seat belts are putting their lives in danger. During 2014, more than 400 people who sustained fatal crash injuries in Ohio wrecks were unbuckled.

Seat belts reduce your risk of injury in every type of crash. It is important to always buckle up, including both the lap and shoulder belts when they are available separately.

Not wearing a motorcycle helmet: Motorcycle riders, due to the lack of protection a motorcycle provides are always at an increased risk of injury. However, they increase that risk if they choose not to wear the proper safety equipment. Of those injured in the 3,651 motorcycle accidents in Ohio during 2014, riders wearing a helmet fared much better. Only 37 motorcyclists died after an accident with a helmet while 91 suffered fatal injuries in accidents while not wearing a helmet.

While Ohio law does not require helmets for riders over 17, they greatly improve your chances of surviving a crash. Insurance adjusters may also attempt to use your helmet use as a reason to decrease your settlement amount in the event you file a claim.

About Bressman Law

Car accident lawyer David Bressman has represented hundreds of clients who suffered injuries in Ohio car accidents. If you were the victim of another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to collect compensation to cover medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Contact us today at 877-538-1116 to schedule a free case evaluation.