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Ohio Personal Injury Blog

Accident risks are three times higher at night

Since Daylight Saving Time ended in Ohio at 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 4, many of the state's residents will be driving home from work in the dark. This is a reason to be concerned because a study carried out by the National Safety Council reveals that the chances of crashing are approximately three times higher at night. Experts say that nighttime accident risks are higher because of reduced visibility, light glare and fatigue.

Reduced visibility is perhaps the most serious nighttime driving hazard. It takes a car traveling at 50 mph only a few seconds to cover the 250 feet of roadway illuminated by standard headlights, and the problem is made worse by glare from oncoming headlights and quiet roads that encourage motorists to drive faster than they perhaps should. Older drivers who venture out onto the roads at night should be especially vigilant as the eyes deteriorate with age. A person in their retirement years needs twice as much light to see clearly as a person in their 30s.

How can we stop distracted driving?

Drivers in Ohio frequently hear public safety announcements and reminders about the dangers of distracted driving. Despite the information campaigns, however, distraction continues to pose a danger on the road. In fact, one survey found that 88 percent of American drivers identified distracted driving as the most serious threat to roadway safety. When truck drivers fall victim to distraction, the results can be particularly catastrophic. Trucking accidents can be devastating to other cars and people involved in a collision; passenger vehicles and pedestrians face a much greater risk of fatalities when a large truck is involved.

Despite the fact that almost everyone knows that distracted driving leads to serious motor vehicle accidents, Americans continue to text, surf and talk behind the wheel. Smartphones are everywhere, and many people have a greater faith in their own driving ability than is warranted. This may be especially likely when truck drivers with long records are involved. They may believe that they are exceptions to the rule who can still drive safely while distracted by their phones. However, when drivers understand why there are no exceptions, they may be less likely to drive while distracted.

Spike in big truck accidents increases call for changes

Large trucks in Ohio and other parts of the country aren't required to use crash-avoidance technology, which has long been a concern for some drivers who have to share the road with such vehicles. There is an increased call for industry changes following the release of federal data that shows a nearly 30 percent spike in accidents involving tractor-trailers, semis and other large trucks over a seven-year period. In spite of the increased risk, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not pushed for the mandatory use of crash avoidance technology.

Surprisingly, very few semis and other larger vehicles have the type of technology that's designed to minimize the risk of truck accidents. On numerous occasions since 1990, the National Transportation Safety Board has suggested that the NHTSA draft or propose regulations requiring larger trucks to have crash avoidance systems. Still, the agency has failed to act. The NHTSA has responded to the criticism by stating that it is in the process of field-testing automatic emergency braking systems. Trucking companies already using such technology claim that it can effectively prevent many rear-end truck collisions.

It's time to break down the distracted driving epidemic

Distracted driving really is an epidemic in the United States. Even as drunk driving slowly declines after decades of education and pushback, more and more people are getting in accidents because they simply are not paying attention to the road.

You likely see examples of distracted driving almost every day. How often have you looked over and seen someone on their phone at a stoplight? Maybe a driver passed you while trying to eat lunch. Perhaps you watched a car drift onto the shoulder and then suddenly correct back into the lane because the driver was trying to type in a new address on the GPS.

AAA: drivers do not understand limitations of car safety tech

According to federal estimates, car safety tech can prevent about 40 percent of auto accidents and 30 percent of accident-related fatalities. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers in Ohio and across the U.S. are overestimating the abilities of such technology, mistakenly believing that it can replace rather than simply assist them.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a report on this trend, and some of the statistics are alarming. It appears that misleading marketing can have a lot to do with it. In addition, many drivers are not properly educated on car safety tech by auto manufacturers, dealers and rental car agencies.

Ohio seeing more and more drowsy driving accidents

Drowsy driving impairs drivers’ abilities and leaves them vulnerable to falling asleep at the wheel. It can trigger major traffic accidents. Unfortunately, Ohio appears to be seeing more and more of the effects of this dangerous conduct.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol data, drowsing driving accidents have been trending upward lately in the state.

Statute of limitations: Parents of Minor Child

When a minor child is injured by the negligence of someone else, the statute of limitations for the injury does not start until the child reaches the age of 18. But what about the derivative claims of the minor's parents (i.e. for medical expenses and loss of consortium)?

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