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Hopes Of Lessening Ohio Car Crash Fatalities With Seatbelt Violation Blitz Beginning Memorial Day Weekend
Police Officers Hope To Lessen Ohio Car Crash Fatalities By Patrolling Roads And Highways For Motorists Violating Ohio’s Seat Belt Laws.
Ohio Car Accident News: As motorists kick off the summer vacation season this Memorial Day Weekend, Ohio law enforcement officers will be out to make sure drivers are wearing seat belts in an effort to prevent serious and fatal Ohio car crash injuries due to motorists not wearing a seatbelt.
Ohio law enforcement agencies have launched the 2016 “Click It or Ticket” campaign just in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Over the next several weeks, motorists should expect to see police officers conducting seatbelt violation blitzes. Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) Trooper Rob Waulk, from the Lebanon Post, said the OSHP has “zero tolerance” for seatbelt violations. The trooper told the Journal-News that in his 21 years as a law enforcement officer, “he never has given a driver a warning.”
Trooper Waulk told the Journal-News that the body of a person involved in a vehicle who is not wearing a seat belt can travel the same speed of the vehicle. Drivers and passengers who are not wearing seat belts can sustain serious, if not fatal, injuries to their heads and chests, according to Trooper Waulk.
According to the OSHP, there were 1,110 fatal crashes in Ohio in 2015, and seat belts were not used in 474, or nearly 43 percent, of those fatalities. The number of fatal crashes last year was up from the 2014 figure of 1,008, where 450 of those were “unbelted” fatalities. Overall, the number of fatalities in which seat belts were not used climbed from 443 in 2011 to 474 in 2015. [statepatrol.ohio.gov/statistics/statspage3.asp]
Despite law enforcement’s emphasis on seat belt use nationwide, data from AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index showed nearly 1 in 5 drivers (18 percent of the 2,442 licensed drivers who took the survey) said they drove without a seatbelt within the past 30 days and more than 1 in 7 (15 percent) admitted to doing this more than once.
Besides failing to buckle up, other Ohio vehicle accident fatalities have been the result of drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving– one of the biggest issues teenage and adult drivers face today, according to the OSHP. From 2014 to 2015, the number of reported distracted drivers rose 11 percent. In 2015 alone, 13,261 crashes in Ohio had a reported distraction, including 39 fatal crashes.
Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Sending text messages is an example of all three types of distracted driving, according to the OSHP. The biggest distraction category in 2015 was “Other Inside The Vehicle” (passengers, food or drink) which comprised 59 percent of all distracted drivers and 44 percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes.