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Ohio sees more traffic fatalities in 2012

In 2011 Ohio roads saw 1,015 traffic fatalities, the lowest number since the State Highway Patrol began keeping records in 1936. However, 2012 brought a significant increase, up to 1,056 fatalities in 952 vehicle crashes.

That number may eventually be even higher, as there are still 45 cases under investigation. If they are confirmed as traffic fatalities they will bring the total up to about 1,100.

Officials do not know exactly what led to the increase in traffic deaths. It appears to contradict increased efforts by the Highway Patrol to step up traffic stops for impaired driving and seat belt usage. In 2012 troopers made thousands more stops for drug and traffic violations than in the previous year.

One factor may be the prevalence of distracted driving, which occurs when a motorist does not give driving his or her full attention because he or she is talking on the phone, sending a text message or is otherwise distracted. As people's use of devices like cell phones increases so does their risk of becoming involved in a distraction-related crash.

Speeding is another major contributor to fatal accidents. While any crash is dangerous, those that involve lower speeds are less likely to cause serious injury or death.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in an accident, consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you review your situation and pursue any appropriate claims for damages.

Source: WFMJ, "Ohio traffic deaths rise in 2012 after record low," Jan. 5, 2013

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