No two motor vehicle accidents occur under identical circumstances. Yet in many truck accidents, the 18-wheeler's driver fails to notice a smaller vehicle and the outcome is usually bleak for the other driver. However, the apparent cause for a recent two-vehicle accident in Ohio strays from the typical narrative.
Ohio State Highway Patrol ("OSHP") statistics indicate that close to half of all fatal car accidents that have occurred so far this year within a five-county region of the state -- Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Butler and Warren -- took place in rural areas. There have been 60 fatal crashes within the region, with 28 occurring on non-interstate roads. Last year, 54 of 96 traffic fatalities that occurred in the Miami valley were on rural roadways.
If Ohio was to be assigned a grade relating to its support for and adherence to core safety recommendations enumerated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a means to reduce car accidents and traffic-related fatalities, it might be a "C."
The central nexus between drunk drivers and fatal car accidents - 12, 744 DUI-related deaths in 2009, according to government statistics - is well recognized and can hardly be overstated. The FBI states that close to 1.5 million people are arrested each year on state roads and highways across the country for driving while drunk.
We noted for readers in a previous blog post (May 31) some of the stark statistics related to motorcycle accidents in Ohio. Between 2008 and 2010, for example, more than 11,000 motorcyclists were injured on state roads, which seems a flatly remarkable number. Moreover, well more than 500 of those riders died as a result of their crashes.
Ohio State Highway Patrol spokespersons frequently weigh in with public announcements concerning the importance of motorists and their passengers wearing seat belts at all times when they are in a vehicle, and they buttress their admonitions with statistics that stress the inordinate number of fatal car accidents involving persons that were not belted.
A tragic truck accident that occurred in 2009 on an interstate highway in Oklahoma is serving as a strong catalyst to promote frank and wide-ranging discussions among safety advocates and regulators and the truck industry regarding industry rules and recent recommendations.
A professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and world-famous Alzheimer's disease researcher was killed in a car accident December 19. The man in the other car, who fled the scene, also was found dead near the scene.
A car accident yesterday on the Ohio Turnpike in Shalersville left one woman dead and another injured. Sandra Pittenger, age 59, of Alliance, was killed when her vehicle ran off the road when trying to avoid another vehicle on the road.