Motor vehicle accidents occur for a variety of reasons – drunk driving, texting and driving, fatigue, etc. — but you may not guess one factor that carries a high risk of causing a car crash. A recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that “emotional driving,” i.e., driving while angry or upset, increases the risk of an accident by ten-fold. Speeding increases the risk of a car accident by 13 times, while texting and driving doubles the risk. According to the report, drivers are doing something to distract them from the road more than 50 percent of the time. Researchers calculated that over one third of the 11 million annual crashes in the U.S. could be avoided if drivers did not engage in distracted driving.
Traffic deaths are increasing in Ohio, despite efforts to crack down on distracted driving. In part, younger drivers are to blame because they are not only inexperienced behind the wheel, but they are more likely to engage in distracted driving behaviors. But mature drivers are also at fault, and they are more likely to speed, which is a substantial risk factor. In fact, excessive speed is a factor in one-third of traffic accidents.
As car accident lawyers handling catastrophic car and truck accidents throughout Ohio, these statistics are frightening. There is no reason to believe that things will change any time soon. The best that we can do is hold negligent drivers responsible and accountable. This can only be done through laws aimed at reducing risky driving behaviors, but also making sure that victims of motor vehicle accidents are fully compensated when personal injury or wrongful death occur.
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