The Ohio State Patrol recently released a report of data collected from wrong way accidents across the state. Researchers analyzed information from 60 wrong-way accidents that occurred from January 2011 through April 2013 and found that though wrong way accidents do not happen as often as other types of vehicle accidents in Ohio, they are usually more serious and nearly always involve more than one vehicle. In fact, the report states that 31 people were killed in the 60 wrong way crashes analyzed, and 85 more people were injured.
Of the 60 wrong way accidents that were analyzed, researchers found that over 80 percent occurred at night, and more than 50 percent of those who drove the wrong way were suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The report also delineated data by age and found that the majority of drivers over the age of 55 were not driving while under the influence, while alcohol or drugs played a part in most of the wrong way accidents caused by drivers under the age of 55, the Toledo Blade reports.
Researchers cited numerous wrong way accidents for the report including a March 2012 wrong way accidents that killed three Bowling Green State University sorority members and the wrong way driver as well as critically injuring two more. Another accident cited in the report involved a wrong way head on collision that occurred on Interstate 75 in December in which four people were killed, three of whom were children.
Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Melissa Ayers told NewsNet5.com that the department is currently involved in a pilot program in which 24 traffic cameras would be installed in key points in Columbus and Dayton that would alert the traffic management center to wrong way drivers. The center would then be able to notify law enforcement of a vehicle driving the wrong way so police could quickly intervene. “We’re always looking for new ways to try to keep people from driving the wrong way,” Ayers said. After a series of wrong way accidents around Toledo, the department placed new wrong-way warning signs to help stop wrong way accidents from occurring.
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