Ohio School Crossing Accidents Are Up Overall But Ohio Pedestrian Accidents Involving 5-14-Year-Old Students Have Decreased.
As the annual school year gets underway, Ohio motorists are encouraged to take precautions to prevent Ohio school crossing accidents. Within a matter of minutes, school crossing zones can quickly turn into danger zones.
In some Ohio areas, students walk and ride their bikes to school. Unfortunately, Ohio’s overall numbers for pedestrian and bicycle accidents within two miles of a K-8 school have risen since 2010. According to statistics from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), 11,973 pedestrian and bicycle accidents occurred between 2011 and 2013. This is a slight increase from 11,866 pedestrian and bicycle accidents occurring between 2010 and 2012. However, a bright spot. Pedestrian and bicycle crashes involving students ages 5 to 14 decreased 4.8 percent, from 2,542 (2010-2012) to 2,419 (2011-2013).
Ohio Pedestrian Fatalities Up in First Half of 2015
Heightened concerns over Ohio school crossing accidents are warranted. Ohio saw a significant jump in the number of overall fatal pedestrian accidents during the first half of 2015. While 25 other states saw increases in fatal pedestrian accidents. Ohio had the largest, from 25 to 56, a 124 percent increase from 2014 to the first six months of 2015. The report does not include numbers for the remainder of 2015.
Matt Bruning, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation, told the Columbus Dispatch that the cold winter was likely a contributing factor to the rise in pedestrian fatalities in Ohio last year. According to Mr. Bruning, several fatalities occurred due to people being hit outside of a disabled car or walking in the street rather than on snow-covered walkways. Nationwide, the GHSA estimated a 10 percent increase in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2015.
[ghsa.org/files/pubs/spotlights/spotlight_ped2015.pdf, GHSA, 2015]
[dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/03/08/Pedestrian_deaths_up_sharply_in_Ohio.html, Columbus Dispatch, March 8, 2016]
Back To School Safety Tips for Motorists
To prevent Ohio school crossing accidents, motorists must be mindful of children walking to school, children in school crossing lanes, and children walking near school buses. As the Ohio school season begins, the National Safety Council offers these tips for motorists:
- When a warning flasher or flashers are blinking in a school zone, yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.
- Do not block a crosswalk. Blocking the crosswalk forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle and puts them in a dangerous situation.
- Always stop when directed to do so by a school patrol sign, school patrol officer or designated crossing guard.
- Children are sometimes difficult to see. Look for children not only in school zones, but in residential ares, playgrounds and parks.
By being alert at all times and following traffic safety rules, both motorists and pedestrians have a good chance of steering clear of accidents not only in Ohio school crossing zones but in other areas statewide.