Car Accidents In Ohio And The Nation Occur More And Involve More Fatalities Than Winter Car Crashes
Do you know what the most dangerous driving season is? Did you guess winter because of icy roads and limited sight? Although winter driving seems like it may be more dangerous, the Department of Transportation states that summer is actually a lot more dangerous. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), traffic fatalities increase by 18 percent during the summer, and car accidents in Ohio dramatically increase. In 2014, 37 Ohio residents were killed in auto accidents on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and July 4th, not counting other deaths that occurred on other summer days.
This year is set to be even more dangerous, as car and truck accidents have already increased by nearly 10 percent across the nation. The DOT cites lower gas prices, a greater number of teens on the roads, and an improving economy for the increase in auto accidents and fatalities. A rise in the number of Ohio residents on the road means that the odds for an Ohio car crash are higher. The numbers aren’t in yet, but July 4th weekend is usually one of the most dangerous for drivers, with an increase in longer driving periods, more traffic, alcohol impairment, and increased distractions.
In addition to more traffic on the roads, the number of distracted drivers increases during the summer months. More young drivers are on the road when school is out, increasing the risk for traffic accidents. Distracted driving accounts for about 27 percent of all traffic accidents. Drivers traveling on unfamiliar roads, driver fatigue, passengers in the car, talking on a cell phone, eating in the car, and other distractions make it easy for drivers to crash on holiday travel days.
Ohio drivers can reduce their risk of traffic accidents by following these safety guidelines outlined by the Department of Transportation:
Do not drive drunk: Never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Even if you feel “buzzed” your driving ability is impaired. Never drive after drinking or ride with a driver who has been drinking.
Minimize distractions: Do not use a cell phone while on the road. Know your route and avoid other distractions such as eating, turning around in the seat, applying makeup, or watching road sights rather than the road itself. Keep your eye on the road and pay attention to your surroundings.
Keep your car maintained: Driving an unsafe car can increase accident risk. Visit your mechanic before taking any long trips. Make sure things like your AC, tires, fuel lines, and engine are running properly. As a bonus, properly inflated tires can save money on fuel costs.
Plan your route: Know where you are going and possible stops along the way. If you are unfamiliar with an area, you are more likely to get into an accident. Additionally, avoid peak driving times between 3PM and 7PM for greater road safety. Look for possible detours or road incidences along your route before leaving to reduce time spent in traffic.
Watch for storms: Rain can be as dangerous as snowstorms. Wet roads contribute to slips and heavy storms reduce visibility. In case of heavy rain, drive carefully or pull over until the worst of the storm passes.
Avoid drowsy driving: Do not drive when you are tired. Drowsy driving is nearly as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. If you get sleepy at the wheel, have someone else drive or pull over until you are more rested.
By implementing a few safety tips while traveling this summer, Ohio residents can avoid more serious and deadly summer accidents. Avoid distractions, plan your route, and keep your car maintained and you will be prepared to handle the extra busy season of summer travel.
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