According to statistics, more Americans have died on the roads in the last 19 years than in both World Wars combined. Since 2000, 624,000 Americans have died in motor vehicle accidents. Official records show that around 535,000 Americans died in the two great global conflicts of the last century. Additionally, since 2000, over 30 million people have suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents.

To give another perspective on this grim statistic, between 2006 and 2012, over 190,000 people died in traffic-related accidents. On the other hand, during the same time, only 100,000 people died as a result of the opioid epidemic that has been plaguing towns and cities across Ohio and other states.

Perhaps the saddest thing about these statistics is that the vast majority, almost 95%, of car accidents are preventable to the extent that they are caused by human error. In other words, only 1 out of 20 collisions can truly be called accidents, that is, tragedies which may have been caused by a vehicle malfunction or something else beyond the control of either driver.

Many of these accidents happen because of bad driving habits about which the general public has repeatedly been warned. For instance, since 2000, 213,000 of the 624,000 fatalities involved a drunk driver, that is, someone who was over the .08 legal limit. Additionally, 197,00 people died because of speeding and an additional 78,000 died in accidents related to distracted driving, including texting and driving.

Hopefully, society will eventually wake up and take this traffic safety epidemic with the seriousness it deserves. In the interim, those who live in West Chester and other parts of Cincinnati should remember that legal options are available to victims and their loved ones following an automobile collision.