By: Michael L. Wright
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Police Look To Reduce Ohio Car Accidents This Holiday Season
Ohio Car Accidents and Injuries Are Expected To Rise This Season As More Ohioans Are Planning Holiday Road Trips This Year
The Ohio State Highway Patrol hopes to reduce Ohio car accidents over the thanksgiving weekend by urging motorists to stay alert while driving. Ohio car crashes are estimated to go up after AAA estimates that more than 2 million Ohioans traveling this holiday weekend. 48.7 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles to enjoy food, family and fun this Thanksgiving weekend. With the increase in motorist on the road and an effort to prevent Ohio car accident injuries, law enforcement officials are advising motorists to make safety a priority. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The most recent data available from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System showed 764 fatal car accidents occurred during Thanksgiving 2012, compared to 654 fatal crashes during Christmas 2012. At least 60 percent of passengers during Thanksgiving 2012 were not wearing seat belts while 40 percent of passengers died in crashes involving drunk drivers.
The improved economy and gas prices holding to around $2 per gallon are among the factors prompting motorists to take to the road this Thanksgiving, according to AAA. The total estimated number of Americans traveling is a 1.9 percent increase over last year, and a 2.4 percent increase of Ohioans who traveled last Thanksgiving, AAA reports.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) hopes to prevent Ohio auto accidents in Van Wert and Paulding counties by having troopers conduct high visibility, high intensity enforcement details this month. Van Wert Post Commander Lt. Tim Grigsby told the Paulding Progress Newspaper that the intention is to “cut down on the amount of dangerous driving and lack of safety belt usage.” The OHSP concerns have heightened due to the increase in crash-causing violations and fatal crashes in those areas. Since January 1 through November 13, troopers have investigated 235 crashes in Van Wert County. So far this year, the five fatal traffic crashes in the county have surpassed three recorded in 2015. In the same time period, 140 crashes have been investigated in Paulding County, where six fatal traffic crashes have occurred since January 1, compared to four in 2015.
AAA encourages drivers to perform maintenance checks on their vehicles before hitting the road, and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) advises Ohioans to pack their patience, especially when driving through construction zones. The number of construction projects will be reduced during the holiday weekend; still, drivers should remain alert since there have been 5,000 work zone crashes so far this year. The crashes include 26 deaths and 150 serious injuries, according to ODOT.
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