The Ohio Department of Public safety recently reported that injuries from drowsy driving are on the rise throughout the state of Ohio. In 2012, there were 1,415 Ohio auto accident injuries caused by drivers falling asleep, tiredness, or fainting. According to statistics from previous years, drowsy driving was up 7 percent from 2011 and 13 percent from 2010. Nation wide, at least one in 25 Americans admit to driving while tired or falling asleep at the wheel, according to a report from the Toledo Blade newspaper. In addition, according to crash data experts, driving while tired can be almost as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that drowsy driving slows reaction time, causes lapses in judgment, and impairs vision. (November 2013, https://www.toledoblade.com/State/2013/11/19/Drowsy-driving-a-leading-cause-of-Ohio-crashes.html)
Ohio Car Crash Statics for Drowsy Driving
In addition to the 13 percent rise in drowsy driving crashes since 2010, fatalities from drowsy driving have also risen. In 2013, there have been 6 fatalities as a result of drowsy driving and over 869 crashes that have caused injuries due to drivers sleeping at the wheel. Across the nation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that up to 4 percent of Americans say that they have fallen asleep at the wheel within the past month. The CDC states that driving after being awake for 18 hours provides the same level of driving impairment as a blood alcohol level of .05 percent.
For commercial drivers, driving drowsy or while fatigued is illegal. Driving while drowsy in Ohio while operating a commercial vehicle, car, or truck is considered a minor misdemeanor. Multiple violations are considered a misdemeanor in the fourth degree. (December 2013, http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4511.79)
Recent Ohio Auto Accidents Caused by Fatigue
Ohio has seen its share of high-profile auto accidents due to drowsy driving and fatigue at the wheel.
In January, 2013, a truck driver traveling through Columbus fell asleep at the wheel and collided with the guardrail on I-71. The truck was split into two and the ramp was closed for several hours, but no injuries occurred as a result of this Ohio car crash.
In March, 2013, a nurse from Cincinnati was driving home after a 12-hour shift, collided with a tree and was killed instantly. Her husband cited her exhaustion from frequent long shifts at the hospital where she worked as cause for the accident.
In September, 2013, a Greyhound bus driver traveling through Cincinnati passed out while drinking coffee, leading to the crash of the bus which injured 35 people.
These accidents were all related to drowsy driving or driving while tired. Some even broke the Ohio law banning commercial vehicle use when fatigued. January 2013, http://news.yahoo.com/bus-driver-told-patrol-passed-152716623.html;_ylt=A2KJjb2fW0RSXVIAynDQtDMD) (March 2013, http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/nov/07/family-ohio-nurse-killed-crash-sues-hospital/) (September 2013, http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2013/01/03/columbus-overturned-semi-on-270-eastbound.html)
If you or someone you know has been in a car accident visit www.yourohiolegalhelp.com or contact the auto accident attorneys at Wright & Schulte LLC at 937-222-7477 for one on one legal advice on dealing with your unfortunate accident.