Auto accident statistics in Ohio can be misleading. These can fluctuate due to societal circumstances, the environment and other issues. Drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians should keep track of tendencies to try and stay safe. When the accident numbers for a certain year are released, it is important to assess them accurately. 2020 was unusual in many ways. That includes the state road fatality rates increasing while substantially fewer vehicles were on the road. These and other factors could be crucial when seeking compensation in a legal filing.
Pandemic led to fewer drivers, but more fatal accidents occurred in the state
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) says that the number of drivers on the road in the state decreased over the course of 2020 vs. 2019. Despite that, there was approximately a 6% increase in fatal accidents. This contradicts what experts predicted would happen once lockdowns went into effect and many people were working from home, remote learning started and leisure trips dropped.
The number of passenger vehicles on the road reduced by around 50% in April 2020. That same month, trucks dropped by 20%. From July through mid-December, trucks then starting spiking beyond what they were in 2019 by between 8% and 10%. Cars remained at the lower level. Accidents in general did not appear to have increased. State patrol stated that they conducted investigations of around 14% fewer collisions for a total of 54,662. In 2019, there were 63,410 such investigations. Fewer drivers were caught driving under the influence. Still, at least 10,500 accidents were alcohol-related. Thirty-two percent of fatal accidents involved alcohol. There was an increase in distracted driving by an estimated 10%. A rise in risky driving behaviors may lead to more crashes.
Auto accidents and their aftermath might warrant a legal claim
As the statistics are being scrutinized, people should be cognizant of the dangers they face on the road despite the lack of congestion they would normally encounter. Researchers believe less traffic could be impacting how people drive and their behaviors. For example, they might feel greater freedom to behave recklessly and ignore the law. Regardless, any auto accident can cause many problems in a person’s life. Medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral costs and more can arise. The scope of issues can be worrisome and confusing. It is wise to have legal assistance from the start to provide information, guidance and help to recover compensation for personal injury and wrongful death.