When you are driving, you are not just responsible for your own safety. You also have a responsibility to every person sharing the road with you. If you invite someone into your car, you also have a responsibility to the passenger or passengers who you have asked into your vehicle.
This is more than just a moral responsibility. It is a legal responsibility. A driver who makes unsafe choices and causes an accident, could be required to compensate passengers and to compensate the families of passengers for serious injuries or wrongful death damages.
Drivers Have a Responsibility to Avoid Passenger Injuries in Akron
Just recently, an Ohio accident showed the tragic consequences which can occur when a driver does not live up to his responsibility to keep passengers safe. The accident was reported by Cleveland.com. It was a single vehicle accident in Ohio City in which a 25-year-old was driving a 1991 Nissan 240SX. The incident occurred at approximately 9:00 PM on a Sunday when the Nissan "rocketed down" the Shoreway Exit off West 28th Street.
The driver of the Nissan was traveling above the legal speed limit, and he was legally intoxicated at the time, according to news reports. His Nissan hit the wall of a median and then struck a guard rail near Washington Avenue. The passenger who was in the car with him, a 33-year-old Ohio man, was killed due to injuries sustained in the crash.
Because the accident caused a person's death, the driver of the Nissan was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. This is a serious crime. The driver may also be named as a defendant if the family of the person killed in the crash chooses to initiate a civil case in order to pursue damages.
The driver in this car can and should be held legally responsible if allegations against him are proven to be true, even if the passenger knew the driver was drunk. Ultimately, drivers are the ones who make decisions about whether to get behind the wheel after drinking and who must obey the laws and exercise reasonable care. When a driver decides to get into a car drunk, he is being grossly negligent and disregarding the threat to human life his actions present. This behavior is not tolerated under the laws in Ohio or throughout the United States.
When drivers choose to drink, exceed speed limit, text while driving, or engage in any type of unsafe behavior, they are making a direct choice to endanger the passengers in their car. A passenger is at the mercy of the driver and has little to no control over the events that transpire. If a driver makes dangerous choices, the driver should pay the consequences of this decision in both the civil and criminal justice systems.