Ohio Auto Accident Reports Rise During The Holidays, But The Ohio State Highway Patrol Is Hoping To Reduce Holiday Accidents By Rolling Out A Safe Holiday Driving Campaign
The Ohio State Highway Patrol along with the toll way Ohio Turnpike have teamed together this holiday season in an effort to reduce the number of holiday traffic accidents and Ohio auto accident injuries this year. The campaign is aimed at preventing distracted driving and keeping Ohio residents safe while they drive to and from holiday activities.
Representatives from the Ohio Turnpike plan to distribute about 100,000 brochures to travelers at their 14 service plazas from now until New Year’s Day offering safety tips on holiday driving, inclement weather, and distracted driving. Randy Cole, Executive Director of the Ohio Turnpike told local NBC news, “We are distributing information about distracted driving to holiday travelers and truck drivers.” [wfmj.com/story/30583832/ohio-turnpike-and-osp-kick-off-safe-driving-campaign-during-holiday-season, December 2015]
According to Ohio state driving statistics, distracted driving accounts for a large portion of Ohio auto accident reports, lagging just behind drunk driving. The Ohio State Highway Patrol estimates that at least 16 percent of all crashes in Ohio are caused by distracted driving, such as by eating in the car, turning around in the driver’s seat, texting, and talking on a phone while driving. The Ohio Turnpike is asking drivers to pledge to drive cell phone free this holiday season.
The Ohio Turnpike estimates that nearly 200,000 vehicles will travel on their toll roads each holiday from now until New Year’s Day. Thanksgiving has so far had the highest number of holiday drivers this year and crash incidences. In 2014, 13,221 crashes occurred on major holidays in Ohio which resulted in 68 fatalities. Thanksgiving had 3,429 crashes, Christmas had 1,172 crashes, and New Year’s Day had 1,373 crashes. A large number of these crashes occurred either due to distracted driving or driving while intoxicated. The Ohio State Highway Patrol estimates that driving while distracted can result in a reaction delay of up to several seconds, which can make the difference between life and death. [publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2014CrashFacts.pdf, December 2015]
You can stay safe on Ohio roadways this holiday season by implementing the following tips:
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving even to make calls. Texting is the most dangerous, but regular phone calls can also lead to distractions.
- Watch the weather and only drive when road conditions are safe.
- Do not operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and do not ride with a driver who has been drinking.
- Always wear your seatbelt and follow all traffic safety laws.
- Don’t rush or make impulsive driving decisions, which can have serious consequences later.
- Follow all traffic signs and make sure to allow plenty of time to travel between destinations.
- Drive carefully around tractor trailers and other large vehicles and give them plenty of time to stop in case of an emergency.
- Watch for ice, snow, rain, and other road obstructions which can make holiday travel more dangerous.
If you follow the safety guidelines recommended by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Turnpike, you will have better odds of avoiding dangerous and deadly Ohio auto accident this holiday season. A few simple safety measures can help ensure you have a happy holiday season after all.