Even at a time when information regarding the dangers of drinking and driving is so readily available, people still get behind the wheel after drinking and put the lives of innocent people in danger. Tragically, fatal car accidents here in Ohio and elsewhere involve alcohol. Lives are lost and families are changed forever because of crashes that are entirely preventable.
Traffic signs are designed to control the flow of vehicles on roadways. When drivers disobey them, people can get seriously or fatally injured. Sadly, numerous car accidents in which drivers failed to obey traffic signs happen across the country, including many here in Ohio.
When Ohio residents hear about motor vehicle crashes, they often automatically assume a driver is at fault. While that is the case in many collisions, other factors could also cause or contribute to them. For instance, in a recent cement-truck accident, police must work to determine whether driver error, mechanical failure or both led to a multi-vehicle crash that caused serious injuries to some of the victims.
Hundreds of people lose their lives on Ohio roadways each year. Wrong-way drivers account for a number of these fatalities. By the time vehicles come to a rest in these car accidents, the people involved often suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Like police departments everywhere, those here in Ohio sometimes struggle to understand what led to a particular crash. For instance, head-on car accidents often result in such severe or deadly injuries that understanding their causes may take a substantial amount of time, if those reasons are ever discovered. This could also prevent grieving family members of the victims from achieving closure by knowing what led to the deaths of their loved ones.
Some things scare just about every driver out there, in just about every part of the country. Frightening scenarios include looking in the rear view mirror and seeing a big rig closing in fast or the flashing lights of a police car, a driver who gets a bit too close when changing lanes, and wrong-way drivers. No one here in Ohio or anywhere else wants to see headlights coming right toward them at a high rate of speed. A wrong-way crash never ends well, and innocent victims often pay the ultimate price.
Even when a crash is deemed preventable due to the actions of the at-fault driver, it does not mean the driver's actions were intentional. Ohio residents may get drunk and then drive, but that does not mean they intended to get into accidents -- it simply means that the driver recklessly increased the risk of one through his or her actions. On the other hand, there are times when car accidents are not accidental.
At some point, every driver, whether here in Ohio or elsewhere, sees the flashing lights of ambulances, police cars and fire trucks. It does not take much to realize this means an accident occurred and one or more of those involved suffered injuries. Just as the presence of other emergency vehicles indicates a crash, the presence of a medical helicopter at the scene of some car accidents means someone suffered severe injuries and may be close to death.
The Ohio Department of Transportation recently reported that no less than 12 wrong-way crashes have occurred in the state so far this year. Another six drivers managed not to harm anyone by causing car accidents when they drove the wrong-way on the state's roadways. In the most recent of these incidents, an accident occurred that took the life of a 23-year-old woman.
Law enforcement officers here in Ohio and elsewhere who respond to numerous crashes during their careers can often tell when lives are lost before they even check on those involved. Even to the untrained eye, the wreckage in some car accidents leaves little to no doubt that someone died. However, sometimes, even when others die, someone does survive, but usually not without suffering serious injuries.