Cincinnati Attorneys for Car Accidents Due to Failure to Obey Traffic Laws
Traffic laws can sometimes seem like nuisances. Nobody obeys speed limits. You should be able to pass on a double yellow line if there’s nothing coming. And who even made up the rule about stopping at an intersection? Traffic laws can seem like a bunch of foolish rules, but they are there for a reason: to keep everyone traveling safely when driving two tons of metal at high speeds.
If you believe you have been injured in a traffic accident because of someone else’s negligent failure to obey traffic laws, you need a lawyer. Call the Cincinnati car accident lawyers of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC at (513) 351-5997, or reach out to us online. You’ll get a free consultation where you can discuss your case with one of our attorneys.
Why Do We Have Traffic Laws?
On May 21, 1901, Connecticut became the first state in America to enact a law regulating the speed of motor vehicles. Henceforth, automobiles could not be driven at more than 12 miles per hour in the cities or 15 miles per hour in the country. There was an additional requirement that they slow down to avoid scaring horse-drawn vehicles.
Traffic laws gradually came into being in various states to address car accidents. It did not happen quickly. By the 1930s, more than half the states still lacked any driver’s license requirements, and a dozen still had no speed limits. It was not until after World War II, when there were enough cars to cause serious accidents, that things began to change.
No national speed limit was enacted until 1974, during the oil embargo. There are very few national traffic regulations. National regulations address the safety of vehicles themselves. The states set their own driving and traffic laws. The laws are similar from state to state for uniformity and ease of enforcement.
How Does Breaking Traffic Laws Cause Accidents?
Most people only think about traffic laws when they are pulled over by a dour police officer demanding their license and registration. Then they get annoyed because everyone else was speeding. Why is the officer picking on them? These are the most commonly broken traffic laws and why they are dangerous.
Speeding. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, speeding is the number-one cause of traffic fatalities. More than one-third of teenage drivers who die on the road were speeding when their cars were involved in a deadly collision.
On most roads, speed limits are set as the upper limit at which an average vehicle can safely negotiate the roadway in good conditions. If a curve is posted “40 mph,” it means that the circumference of the curve is too tight for a car to manage at a higher speed.
Speeding also increases the damage that will be done if the car hits another vehicle or a fixed object. We can show that by using a calculation everyone forgot the minute we left high school: force equals the mass of an object times the acceleration (f = m*a). A 4000-pound car moving at 65 miles per hour will hit with almost 12,000 pounds of force.
Seatbelt laws. Seatbelt and child restraint laws are on the rise in every state, especially given the unforgiving physics in the entry above. Seatbelts and child safety seats are still the best defense against deadly crashes.
You cannot ever predict what another driver will do, but you can protect yourself. Your best chance of survival in a collision is wearing proper safety restraints. Keeping your children in child seats is equally important. Child seats provide an extra layer of protection for small children, preventing damage to their necks and backs.
Beyond keeping passengers safer, failing to wear seatbelts can have an impact on your insurance premiums. Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence rule in allowing recovery in auto accidents. Under this rule, a victim may recover compensation only if they are held to be less than 51 percent at fault for their injuries. If you are injured because you failed to wear a seatbelt, you could be barred from recovering in your accident claim.
Driving under the influence. Whether it is alcohol or marijuana, being under the influence is a dangerous way to drive. Using both alcohol and narcotics slows your response time and causes you to overestimate your abilities and underestimate the risks around you.
Even at a low level of intoxication (.08 percent blood alcohol content), drivers experience slower reaction time, difficulty focusing their eyes, impaired judgment, and poor balance control. At higher levels (above .10 percent BAC), muscle control begins to deteriorate, leading to swerving, difficulty recognizing other vehicles, and altered levels of consciousness.
Studies by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) have shown that even a half-second delay in braking means your car travels an additional twelve feet. Combine speeding and drinking, and you have a recipe for collision.
Although traffic rules may seem arbitrary and unfair sometimes, they are all there for good reason. The best way to avoid breaking them is to always wear your seatbelt and avoid drinking and driving. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of careless drivers is to practice defensive driving techniques and keep your eyes on the road.
When You Need Assistance
If you have been the victim of another driver’s speeding or driving while intoxicated, the first thing you should do is see a doctor. Then you should consult a legal professional. The attorneys at Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you navigate the complex requirements of insurance and court filings and help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Ohio follows a modified contributory negligence rule which bars recovery in an accident if you are found to be more than 51 percent at fault for your accident. Because of this, it is important that you say nothing to anyone that could be viewed as accepting blame. By having an attorney represent you from the start, you can avoid having to talk to insurance companies and their lawyers. All communication will go through your legal representative.
Contact Us Today
If you believe your accident was due to another driver’s failure to obey the rules of the road, don’t wait. Call the Cincinnati car accident attorneys of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC at (513) 351-5997 today. The consultation is free. Our attorneys will review your case and let you know the best way to proceed. Contact our team right away.