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Ohio Personal Injury Blog

Preventing drowsy driving crashes in Ohio

Driving drowsy is unsafe, yet nearly one-third of respondents in a recent AAA survey admitted to doing so within the previous month. Their drowsiness, they said, was so bad that they could barely keep their eyes open. The National Sleep Foundation has compared the effects of sleep deprivation to alcohol intoxication. Being awake for 24 hours is like having a blood alcohol content of .10, which is above the .08 legal limit.

The following are some safety tips that drivers can consider. First of all, the CDC recommends at least seven hours of sleep every night. Those who get this amount but still drive drowsy may have a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea. Second, prescription and over-the-counter drugs like sleep aids, antihistamines, antidepressants and muscle relaxers are known to induce drowsiness. If necessary, a doctor could adjust the regimen so as to avert drowsy driving.

AAA: GPS and texting raise risk for auto accidents

The results of a new AAA study on the hazards of vehicle infotainment systems should not be surprising to some drivers in Ohio. However, the fact remains that there are many who see nothing wrong with utilizing technology behind the wheel. One out of three Americans uses an infotainment system while driving.

The study focused on 30 infotainment systems on new 2017 cars from makers like Toyota, Honda, Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge and Tesla. Of the 30 systems, none demanded a low level of attention. Seven generated a moderate demand, 11 a high demand and 12 a very high demand. Many of the systems allow for activities irrelevant to driving like calling, texting, checking social media and even finger painting.

What is most commonly involved in drunk driving deaths

Of all the deaths that result from traffic injuries, a third arises from drunk driving crashes. Having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above in Ohio can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties. At 0.08 percent, drivers will experience impaired reaction times and greatly increase their chances for a crash.

Drivers should know that the liver takes about one hour to process one ounce, or about 30 milliliters, of alcohol consumed. In compromised livers, it takes much longer. Until that occurs, the alcohol remains in the blood. Drivers under 24, motorcyclists and those with prior DUI convictions see the highest risk for a fatal drunk driving crash. Those who mix alcohol with drugs or medications do so as well.

External airbags may be coming in the future

Drivers in Columbus, Ohio, are familiar with the benefits of airbags in a vehicle. Modern cars and trucks are equipped with internal airbags for the driver and passengers as well as side airbags to lessen the chance of injury in a side-impact collision. Now, an airbag manufacturer believes that injuries can be further reduced through the use of external side airbags.

Perhaps taking a lesson from Mars landers, the manufacturer has developed a long, cylinder shaped airbag positioned under the doors of the vehicle. The current prototype has a length of approximately 6.5 feet to be adjusted based on the length of the wheelbase and passenger area. When deployed, the bag will inflate to 15 inches by 21 inches. The inflation time is similar to interior airbags at less than 20 milliseconds. The external airbag will act as a cushion against die impact collisions whether due to side-swipe accidents or T-bone collisions.

Is the nursing home liable for my loved one's sepsis?

Elderly people in nursing homes can be particularly vulnerable to infections, and this is why it is important that nursing home caregivers ensure that all their residents are properly examined and taken care of. Sepsis is one of the most serious and time-sensitive infections that nursing home residents can suffer from. If it is not detected early, it can lead to extremely serious injuries, unnecessary suffering and even death.

If your loved one has suffered from sepsis in a nursing home in the state of Ohio, it is important that you consider whether the nursing home could have prevented the extent of the suffering. In order to do this, you should take the time to understand the law in Ohio when it comes to personal injury and negligence.

What Ohio law says about dog bites

If a person has been bitten by a dog, Ohio law may allow for the pursuit of compensation. However, how a bite victim would go about getting compensation depends on the history of the dog. If the canine has a recorded history of biting, an individual could choose to pursue a negligence case, which may allow for punitive damages. A negligence claim is generally harder to prove, which is why many choose to pursue a strict liability claim.

The strict liability theory says that whoever controls the dog is liable for a bite even if this person didn't know the dog was potentially vicious. To collect under this theory, a victim must prove that the defendant had control of the dog. Furthermore, it must be shown that the dog bite was the proximate cause of injuries that led to damages. It is worth noting that the person liable for the dog bite doesn't have to be its owner.

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.

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