Ohio law enforcement is set to enhance its capabilities to identify impaired drivers. It will use innovative eye-detecting technology and specialized training to prevent serious and fatal impaired driving car accidents.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety recently received a $15,087 grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association and Responsibility.org to provide training for officers. The training will equip officers with the skills to operate DAX Evidence Recorders. These devices capture eye movements and other physiological responses exhibited by suspected impaired drivers.
The Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) aims to produce training modules for law enforcement agencies to expand their capacity to detect impaired drivers. These efforts are a response to a growing concern in Ohio, where impaired driving has led to an increasing number of serious and fatal crashes.
OTSO Director Emily Davidson emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue. She stated, "This behavior must be addressed to save lives. By providing law enforcement with the tools, resources, and training to better recognize impairment, officers can identify and remove dangerous drivers from the road."
How many impaired driving crashes happen in Ohio?
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, impaired driving was one of the most common causes of statewide crashes from 2020 to 2023. Here are the figures:
- Operating a vehicle impaired (OVI) resulted in:
- 13,141 crashes and 685 fatalities in 2020.
- 13,762 crashes and 720 fatalities in 2021.
- 11,833 crashes and 726 fatalities in 2022.
- 8,030 crashes and 425 fatalities in 2023 (as of this writing)
- Alcohol use resulted in:
- 10,226 crashes and 406 fatalities in 2020.
- 11,084 crashes and 436 fatalities in 2021.
- 10,093 crashes and 417 fatalities in 2022.
- 6,865 crashes and 268 fatalities in 2023 (as of this writing).
- Drug use resulted in:
- 4,532 crashes and 484 fatalities in 2020.
- 4,280 crashes and 512 fatalities in 2021.
- 3,006 crashes and 537 fatalities in 2022.
- 2,044 crashes and 288 fatalities in 2023 (as of this writing)
What are the dangers of impaired driving?
Impaired driving poses significant dangers to both the driver and others on the road. These often include:
- Reduced reaction time: Impaired drivers often experience slowed reaction times. This makes it difficult to respond to changing road conditions, obstacles, or unexpected events.
- Impaired judgment: Alcohol and drugs can impair a driver's judgment. This often leads to risky behaviors such as speeding, aggressive driving, and running red lights.
- Decreased coordination: Impaired drivers may struggle to steer, brake, or accelerate appropriately. This often results in erratic driving and difficulty staying within lanes.
- Blurred vision: Alcohol and certain substances can lead to blurred or double vision. This makes it challenging for drivers to focus on the road and identify hazards accurately.
- Drowsiness: Fatigue is often associated with impaired driving. It can lead to microsleep episodes, where a driver momentarily falls asleep.
- Overconfidence: Impaired drivers may exhibit overconfidence and take unnecessary risks. They may believe that they are more capable than they actually are.
- Aggressive behavior: Alcohol and drugs can lead to increased aggression. This often contributes to road rage incidents and confrontations with other drivers.
What are my legal rights if I was hit by an impaired driver?
If you've been injured in a car accident involving an impaired driver in Ohio, you have the right to take legal action against the at-fault party. However, recovering compensation through a car accident claim isn't always an easy process. The insurance company has a financial incentive to reduce or deny your claim, even if there is clear evidence that the other driver was at fault.
That's why you need an experienced Ohio car accident lawyer from Merriman Legal in Cleveland on your side, advocating for you every step of the way.
We can launch a thorough investigation into your crash, deal with the at-fault driver's insurance company, and fight to maximize your compensation. To learn more, contact us online or call our Cleveland law office to schedule a free consultation. We serve injured motorists and their families in the Cleveland area and throughout Ohio.