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Traffic fatalities have doubled in 1 Ohio county

The Christmas and New Year's holidays are a particularly concerning time for Ohio traffic enforcement officers. Many drivers get behind the wheel after holiday festivities while they are under the influence. However, impaired driving is a year-round concern. In Medina County, the director of the OVI Task Force says that as the St. Patrick's Day holiday nears and the weather finally begins to warm up, they are once again stepping up patrols to look out for drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence. He notes, "Drivers aren't dealing with snow- and ice-covered roads, and other things begin to enter the driving experience."

One of those things is alcohol. Last year, a third of all fatal Ohio car accidents involved alcohol. That's why "targeting of impaired drivers is of the utmost importance," according to the OVI Task Force director. The impairment may not necessarily involve alcohol. Distracted driving is also a concern.

While the crashes that killed four people in Medina County early this year are still being investigated, the task force director cautions that speeding and failure to wear a seat belt can also lead to traffic fatalities. In one of the fatal accidents, the driver was not wearing a seat belt, according to authorities, and was partially thrown from the vehicle. These four fatalities in the three 2014 crashes in Medina County are double the number at this time last year.

While increased police patrols can be a deterrent to OVIs and reckless driving, there are always people who fail to consider the lives of others on the road or their own safety. Criminal penalties are in place to punish those who harm or kill others on the road. However, civil litigation against those who cause accidents can hold liable parties financially responsible as well as acting as a deterrent to others. By pursuing a civil lawsuit, families can seek financial compensation to help cover damages including medical bills, lost wages, and the pain and suffering caused to victims and their loved ones by careless drivers.

Source: The Medina-Gazette, "Traffic deaths double; police urge caution" Loren Genson, Mar. 08, 2014

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