Number of deaths on Ohio roads on the rise, officials say

Traffic crashes on Ohio’s roads claimed the lives of more people this year than a year ago, making 2019 one of the deadliest years on Buckeye State roads this decade, officials said.

A total of 1,119 people have been killed in traffic crashes in Ohio this year to date, up from 1,068 traffic deaths during all of 2018. The number of traffic fatalities increased in five of the past six years, officials said.

“Distracted driving involving smartphones is, without a doubt, a major contributing factor to this increase in traffic fatalities,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a news release. “As we launch into one of the busiest travel times of the year, the way we drive will impact how many people are home for the holidays and how many people ring in the new year.”

Stepped-up enforcement

Ohio authorities are planning to step up their enforcement of distracted driving laws during the holidays, as are officials in other states.

More than 91,000 crashes blamed on distracted driving occurred in Ohio since 2013, resulting in more than 47,000 injuries, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. A total of 305 people died in distracted driving crashes during the same period, but officials believe the number may be higher, saying drivers don’t always admit to distracted driving.

“I’m challenging everyone to put your smartphones away while you drive over the holidays and to make it your New Year’s resolution to drive without distraction every day going forward,” DeWine said. “If you have a passenger, ask them to read or write texts for you, or if you are the passenger, speak up if you see your driver reaching for the phone.”

Distracted driving doesn’t just include smartphone distractions. It also consists of any non-driving activity that can distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase their risk of crashing.

Palazzo Vecchio
About Sightseers’ Delight 426 Articles
Sightseers’ Delight started publishing in June 2016. The site, published by The DeFeo Groupe, collects and curates content about places where historical events large and small happened. The site builds off the legacy of The Travel Trolley, which launched in June 2009. The site aimed to be a virtual version of the trolley tours offered in so many cities.