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Increase in Ohio road deaths outpace national average

A report released by the National Safety Council reveals that 499 people lost their lives on Ohio's roads during the first six months of 2015. This number represents an increase of 17 percent when compared to the 425 road users who were killed in the Buckeye State during the first six months of 2014. The Ohio figures reflect a national trend that saw highway fatalities increase by 14 percent and serious injuries surge by 30 percent during these periods. Lower fatality and injury rates were only observed by the NSC in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

The nonprofit safety advocacy organization put these increases down to higher levels of traffic. Improving employment figures have led to an increase in the amount of commuter traffic, and plummeting gas prices allow more Americans to take family vacations. According to the NSC report, the costs of these crashes such as medical bills and lost productivity added up to $152 billion.

While an improving economy was cited as the main reason for the sharp increase in car accident injuries and deaths, the NSC also noted an alarming rise in the number of accidents involving drivers who were distracted by cellphones. A May 2015 survey conducted by AT&T discovered that about 70 percent of drivers admitted to using their phones while behind the wheel, and 61 percent of respondents confessed that they read or sent text messages while driving.

Establishing negligence in a lawsuit filed against a distracted driver can be challenging for personal injury attorneys. Motorists rarely admit that they were using a cellphone or were otherwise distracted in the moments leading up to a collision, and police reports may not always provide the evidence that attorneys require. In these situations, attorneys may request the cellphone records of the drivers involved or survey the accident scene for security cameras that may have recorded the events.

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