Ohio’s Department of Transportation (ODOT) director Jerry Wray believes that “everyone has a right to use Ohio’s roads … and that safety is everyone’s responsibility.” In an attempt to make motorists more conscious of motorcycles, bikes and pedestrians, Ohio instituted a “Share the Road” awareness campaign in response to rising crash statistics. Ohio’s Crash Data The Ohio Department of Public Safety recently released Ohio’s serious crash statistics from 2006-2010:
- Cars/Trucks: Over 300,000 serious crashes involved cars and trucks, resulting in over 1,000 deaths
- Motorcycles: Approximately 4,500 crashes and 170 fatalities were reported involving motorcyclists
- Bikes: Roughly 2,000 crashes and 1,600 injuries resulted from a car hitting a bicyclist
- Pedestrians: Over 2,600 pedestrian accidents led to over 2,200 serious injuries
In order to lower these numbers ODOT has distributed roadway safety information, partnered with local law enforcement, and continues to hold several instructional events for the public. ODOT targeted the summer months because a recent five-year study confirmed that most pedestrian and bicycle crashes happen to children age 5-18 while they are away from school. Safety Advice Ideally the number of crashes would be zero, but that number is unrealistic. Too many factors contribute to a car accident, such as bad weather, poor road conditions, driver fatigue, and the attentiveness of bicyclists and walkers. However, there are certain guidelines ODOT recommends to reduce the number of crashes as much as possible:
- Bicyclists: Ride with traffic, have a light attached for dark conditions, abide by all traffic signs and properly signal turns
- Pedestrians: Make eye contact with drivers if possible, look both ways before crossing busy intersections, and wear bright colored clothing when walking at night (preferably reflective material)
- Motorcyclists: Wear a helmet, avoid speeding and perform routine maintenance checks before riding
- Cars: Be extra careful in poor weather and poor visibility conditions, do not text or change your radio while driving and do not get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
Inevitably crashes will still occur even if everyone follows these tips. Those involved in an accident as a driver, biker or pedestrian should seek legal counsel from an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately to discuss their rights and options.