According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, five contributing circumstances accounted for 74 percent of fatal crashes in 2019. Those factors of the at fault vehicle are driving off the road, unsafe speed, left of center, failure to yield, and following too close.
“Crashes are preventable when drivers stay focused and make good decisions behind the wheel,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Driving aware not only helps you stay safe, but it helps other motorists get home to their families as well.”
Male drivers were at fault in 75 percent of the fatal crashes. Unsafe speed occurs more often with male drivers than female drivers. However, female drivers were 20 percent more likely to be at fault in failure to yield fatal crashes than males. More teenage drivers were at fault in fatal crashes caused by unsafe speeds and left of center than mature drivers.
Driving left of center and failure to yield were more likely to be the cause of fatal crashes in rural areas, compared to urban.
Provisional data shows that 2019 was the second-deadliest year of the past decade with at least 1,157 people killed in Ohio traffic crashes. Overall, distracted driving is believed to be a factor to the increase in fatal crashes.
During a news conference last week, Governor DeWine announced details of new legislation that aims to change the culture around the use of wireless devices while driving. The Hands-Free Ohio bill will make the use of a hand-held wireless device while driving a primary offense and will increase penalties for drivers who choose to disregard the law.
“Law enforcement officers see the deadly consequences of distracted driving violations on a daily basis, and more often than not, these distractions involve the use of an electronic device,” said Lieutenant Tim Karwatske, Chillicothe Post Commander. Distracted driving is unsafe and irresponsible, and in a split second, the consequences can be devastating.”
More information on the Hands-Free Ohio legislation can be found on Governor DeWine’s website.
The Patrol reminds you to call #677 when you see unsafe motorists driving on Ohio roads. For more information, a traffic safety bulletin can be found at:https://statepatrol.ohio.gov/links/CrashCause_Bulletin_2020_FatalOnly.pdf.