Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Situated in Northeast Ohio, Summit County is home to excellent educational institutions including Western Reserve Academy and The University of Akron. It’s also full of exciting attractions such as the Akron Zoo, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. While Summit County is appreciated by residents and visitors alike, the hustle and bustle throughout the region mean motor vehicle collisions are common.
As a veteran Ohio personal injury firm, KNR has compiled the most recent Summit County car accident statistics to promote safer driving. However, if you sustain an injury in Summit County car crash due to the negligent actions of another, reach out to the highly skilled Akron car accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick.
Fatal Car Accident Statistics in Summit County
The Ohio State Highway Patrol discovered that in 2018, there were 29 fatal car crashes in Summit County. One involved multiple fatalities for a total of 30 collision-related deaths that year. Of the 29 deadly accidents, 20 occurred in urban environments and nine took place in rural areas. Drunk driving accounted for 12 crashes; six were commercially-related, and two involved motorcycles. There have been eight fatal crashes in 2019 so far, putting the region on pace for 32 deadly collisions by the end of 2019.
The figures for Summit County fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 are an improvement over previous years. There were 40 deadly accidents in 2016, leading to 41 deaths. In 2017, 43 fatal collisions killed 47 people. Almost half of these incidents occurred within the Akron city limits. The statistics show the most common reasons listed for fatal accidents:
- Failure to control the vehicle is the top cause of deadly collisions, listed in 17.9% of incidents;
- Improper lane changes or unsafe passing is in second place, contributing to 14.8% of all fatal car accidents; and,
- Additional causes of fatal auto collisions include failure to yield and unsafe speed.
It’s interesting to compare two specific factors, unsafe speed and exceeding the speed limit. The former is to blame in 10.7% of deadly crashes, and the latter in 1.5%. This statistic shows that driving at the speed limit doesn’t always equate to operating a vehicle safely. Motorists may still present a danger if they’re driving at the speed limit down a major thoroughfare like West Exchange Street or East Market Street – but traffic, weather, or other conditions necessitate a slower speed.
Summit County Car Accident Injury Statistics
While fatal accidents are a serious topic, the numbers on injury-related crashes are also disturbing. In Summit County, on average, there are about 3,400 collisions every year that result in bodily harm to at least one person. Based on almost 15,600 accidents annually means that just over 21% cause injuries. Many of them lead to multiple casualties, as approximately 4,825 people are hurt with injuries ranging from minor to severe.
Within the statistics on injury-causing accidents, it’s interesting to note that some of the causes are the same as deadly crashes; however, the rankings are different. For example:
- Following too closely is the number one cause, at around 29% of all crashes annually;
- Failure to yield ranks second as a contributing factor to injury-causing accidents, listed in almost 19 % of collisions; and,
- Failure to control the vehicle falls in third place, though it’s the top cause in fatal accidents. In Summit County, approximately 16.6 % of these crashes occur because a driver doesn’t maintain control over the vehicle.
Most Dangerous Intersections in Summit County
The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) uncovered the most dangerous intersections in Summit County. Over the last five years, the most dangerous areas for motorists driving in Summit County include:
- South Broadway and East Thornton in Akron, especially during rush hour as drivers exit Interstate 77 on their morning commute;
- Darrow Rd. and Graham Rd. in Stow;
- The intersection of State Route 59/Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and State Route 261/Opportunity Parkway, near the famous Glendale Cemetery and the Akron Ark Museum;
- South Maple Street and Rhodes Ave. in Akron;
- East Market Street and Mogadore Road in Akron;
- The loop created by the convergence of Interstates 77 and 76, just south of Akron;
- The intersection of State Road 162 and South Hawkins Avenue, west of the Akron Zoo; and,
- County Road 764/Triplett Avenue near the Akron-Fulton Airport, at the intersections with Kelly Avenue and South Arlington Street.
How to Prevent Accidents in Summit County
To avoid accidents in Summit County, drivers must make an effort to drive defensively. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce their risk of crashes and help make the county a safer place.
Most drivers speed because they are in a hurry, are simply not paying attention to their driving, believe the laws don’t apply to them, or don’t think speeding is dangerous. The unfortunate reality is that when drivers disregard speed limit signs and drive as fast as they please, they are often unable to slow down in time to avoid a crash.
Texting, eating, drinking, fumbling with radio controls, and talking to passengers are all examples of distracted driving behaviors that can divert a driver’s attention from the road ahead of them and lead to an accident. Many of these activities are prohibited by Ohio law, and any use of electronics by a driver under age 18 years is unlawful. Even holding a pet while driving can still lead to a ticket. Unfortunately, there are too many motorists who ignore these laws and common sense safety rules.
According to Summit County car accident statistics, there were nine fatalities and 76 people seriously injured because of distracted driving in 2018. By comparison, there were 13 people killed and 111 victims were hurt in 2017. Based upon the total number of crashes, this means distracted driving is a factor in about one-third of all traffic-related incidents that cause death or bodily harm.
Though these figures are troubling, they’re actually an improvement. In 2015, 42% of fatal crashes involved distracted driving, and it was a factor in 38% of serious injury-causing collisions in 2016. These statistics are encouraging, and they’re a likely result of tougher enforcement and raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
After drinking or using drugs, many people get behind the wheel instead of calling a sober friend or using a ride-sharing service like Lyft or Uber. This leads to serious accidents, which often involve fatalities.
Speeding, tailgating, running red lights and stop signs, failure to use turn signals, and sudden starting and stopping are all examples of common reckless driving behaviors that may cause crashes.
Winters in Summit County can be a real challenge to drive in. When driving on snow and ice, drivers must be extra cautious and drive slower than the posted speed limits. Unfortunately, you cannot blame the weather if you get into an accident because it was too slippery or you couldn’t see well. It is your responsibility to drive safely regardless of the weather conditions.
Take Action if You’re Hurt in a Car Accident
Your first priority after an auto collision is to seek proper medical care, which may vary depending on the severity and nature of your injuries. If you suffered life-threatening injuries, are bleeding profusely, or lost consciousness, visit the emergency room right away. Local options in Summit County include:
- Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls;
- Summa Health Akron Emergency Department; and,
- Summa Health Barberton Emergency Department.
For injuries that are less severe, but which still require same-day treatment, you should consider heading to an urgent care. There are multiple options within the Summa Health network, including facilities in Akron and Fairlawn. In addition, you might visit:
- Concentra Urgent Care;
- Akron Urgent Care Centers;
- Akron Children’s Hospital Urgent Care;
- Cleveland Clinic Express Care in Cuyahoga Falls; and,
- Faithful Servants Care in Tallmadge, OH.
Other tasks in the aftermath of a car accident are important, but your ability to handle them may depend upon your injuries. Do your best to take the following steps:
- Exchange contact and insurance information with all drivers involved in the collision. However, do not make any statements other than to provide these details.
- Take video and photos with your camera, including images of all vehicles, your injuries, the scene of the accident, traffic signs or signals, the road conditions, and any other relevant items.
- Jot down detailed notes regarding the circumstances of the crash.
- If there were any witnesses, get their names and contact information.
- Schedule a consultation with an auto collision attorney who can help with additional tasks moving forward.
Injured in a Summit County Car Accident? Contact KNR
If you’ve been hurt in a Summit County car crash, it is always in your best interest to consult an experienced car accident lawyer at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We can investigate your case, advise you on your rights, and help you recover the fair and full compensation you deserve.