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Report: Ohio Lags in Passing Traffic Safety Laws

Cleveland, Ohio highway with light traffic

Our Cleveland car accident attorneys discuss the results of a new study

Ohio needs to step up its roadway safety laws, according to a recent ranking of the 50 states.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety recently released its annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety, which includes an analysis of state traffic laws and car accidents.

States were put into three color-coded groups – green (the best or most in-line with Advocate recommendations), yellow, and red. Ohio ranked among the states with the fewest traffic safety laws.

It is worth noting that Advocates do not give states credit for roadway safety laws that are secondary or otherwise do not meet the group’s standards. This impacted Ohio’s score.

For example, although Ohio has a graduated drivers’ license program, it was not recognized by Advocates for the study.

Ohio traffic law

Ohio was among 11 “red” states that researchers say falls “dangerously behind” in the adoption of Advocates’ recommended 16 or so safety laws.

Traffic safety laws can have a powerful effect on driving behavior. Drunk driving legislation is a good example of this. The rate of fatal crashes due to alcohol has decreased by 65 percent since the 1980s when states began passing anti-drunk driving (DUI or OVI) laws in earnest.

Ohio has six out of the 16 laws recommended by Advocates. To reduce serious and fatal car accidents, the awareness group suggests Ohio adopt the following laws:

  • Primary enforcement of the seat belt law (front and rear seating).
  • Require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
  • Mandate rear-facing car seats through age 2.
  • Institute a graduated drivers license program (GDL), which requires people to be at least 16 years old to get a Learner’s Permit, imposes stronger nighttime driving restrictions, and bars people under age 18 from receiving an unrestricted license.
  • Require ignition interlocks for all operating a motor vehicle while impaired (OVI or DUI) offenders.
  • Restrict texting for all drivers.

Fatal car accident statistics

Overall, the number of fatal Ohio car accidents has held steady for years. About 1,000 people die annually due to Ohio crashes.

In 2010 there were 0.97 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven in Ohio. In 2019, the year with the most recent information available, the rate had increased to 1.01.

Dangerous roadways

Ohio is home to one of the most deadly roadways in the country – I-70, which cuts diagonally across the state and runs through Franklin County.

A major factor in I-70 fatal crashes is alcohol. Almost 40 percent of fatal Ohio I-70 accidents involve alcohol, according to ValuePenguin research.

Other dangerous roadways in Ohio include:

  • I-71, Columbus
  • I-75, Evendale, Sharonville, West Chester
  • I-480, Brooklyn Heights, Independence, Cleveland
  • Route 75, Columbus
  • I-90, Euclid, Cleveland, Bratenahl
  • Route 9, Cleveland

Injured in a crash? See what our team can do for you.

Bad car accidents happen every day in Ohio, causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries. When they do, it is important that victims get the justice and financial compensation they deserve.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in an Ohio car, truck, or motorcycle accident, contact Merriman Legal for a free case evaluation. A member of our dedicated legal team will listen to the details of your case, answer your questions, and help you weigh your options.

Contact us to schedule your free case evaluation right now. We are based in Cleveland and proudly serve all of Ohio.

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