In a previous blog post, we discussed drunk driving accidents and the rights of injured victims. While motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and others on public roads face risks of being involved in alcohol-related accidents throughout the year, those risks substantially increase during the summer months. In fact, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show sharp increases in drunk driving wrecks between Memorial Day at the end of May and Labor Day in September. This period of elevated roadway risks has come to be known as the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer.
This summer, law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and the state of Ohio are participating in increased enforcement efforts to keep our roads safe. In particular, they focus on a few common dangers associated with the summer months:
- Drunk Driving – Drunk driving is especially common during the summer, when more local residents have greater opportunities for celebrating warm weather, longer days, and a number of holidays. As data shows, however, the summer and summer holidays (including Fourth of July and Labor Day) are notorious for increases in the number of alcohol-related accidents, injuries, and deaths on roads and highways nationwide. To fight one of the biggest dangers posed by summer celebrations, police commonly increase their presence on days and locations where they know people will be drinking (such as weekends, late nights, and nearby bars and other drinking establishments). If you plan on enjoying a vacation or celebrating at a summer party with alcohol, do your part to keep the roads safe by driving sober, designating a sober ride, using services like Uber or Lyft, or simply staying put wherever you plan to celebrate.
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving has been one of the leading factors behind national increases in motor vehicle fatalities. In fact, the National Safety Council and NHTSA have both pointed to driver distraction, and in particular cell phone use while driving, as critical safety issues which have led to a national epidemic. This summer, law enforcement will be paying close attention to distracted drivers, and on enforcing Ohio laws which prohibit all motorists from texting while driving.
- Teen Drivers – The “100 Deadliest Days” of summer is a particularly dangerous time for teen drivers, many of whom now have the freedom to get into their vehicles and enjoy time off from school. Unfortunately, these teen drivers face elevated risks when it comes to auto accidents. As noted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teen motorists are nearly three times more likely to be involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes than older drivers. During the summer, accident statistics also show that accidents involving teen drivers increase by as much as 15% during the day, and roughly 22% during the night.
During the peak driving season, it becomes everyone’s responsibility to remember that as licensed motorists, we all have an obligation to safely operate their vehicles and take steps that reduce risks of injury to those around them. This means not only driving sober and avoiding distractions, but also obeying the rules of the road, driving within the speed limit, and being vigilant during times of increased traffic common in the summer.
Victims’ Rights: Car Accidents & Personal Injury Lawsuits
Unfortunately, as our firm’s Cleveland car accident attorneys know all too well, even the most vigilant and safety conscientious motorists can suffer harm in preventable accidents caused by others who failed to take their legal obligations seriously. When drivers cause accidents, injuries, or death as a result of their negligence, injured victims and families have a right to seek justice and financial compensation for their damages by filing a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. While every accident and injury is unique, this can include a range of economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional injuries
- Loss of quality of life
- Los off emotional support
- Reduced earning potential
- Future medical needs
- Burial or funeral expenses
At Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, we have worked with numerous car accident victims throughout the years, including those harmed during the summer, holidays, and other times of the year when accident risks are increased. As any reasonable driver should understand the risks associated with dangerous and unlawful behaviors like drunk driving or texting while driving, we make it a point to aggressively protect the rights of our clients and seek the full and fair compensation they need to cover damages that could and should have been prevented.
It is important to note that while victims have the right to hold negligent at-fault parties liable for their losses, that compensation is never automatically awarded nor guaranteed. This is especially true given the fact that victims must prove how another’s negligence more likely than not caused them harm, and because insurance companies which represent motorists alleged to be at fault for causing accidents are often aggressive in their efforts to dispute claims, challenge fault and liability, and do all they can to pay as little as possible.
Backed by decades of experience and extensive firm resources, our legal team knows how to fight back against insurance companies that care more about profits than they do about fairly compensation victims harmed by their policy holders. If you would like to learn how we can put our experience to work for you following any type of auto accident you or a loved one may have been involved in this summer, or any time of year, please do not hesitate to contact us for a FREE and confidential consultation.