Category Archives: Safe Communities

Safe Communities Fatal Crash Data Released

Wood County Safe Communities announced today there have been four fatal crashes compared to three last year at this time.  This is an increase of one crash to date.

May is also Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May –and during the rest of the year –drivers of all motor vehicles are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcyclists and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.

In Wood County alone, helmet usage for persons involved in crashes was 52.5% percent in 2015. This is an increase from 2014, when the helmet use in crashes was 52.4%. However, the percentage of people injured in crashes has decreased from 100% in 2014, to 66% in 2015. With this in mind, it is essential now more than ever that motorcyclists wear a helmet.  Always be aware of the presence of motorcycles.

For More Information:

  • Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lt. Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
  • 419-372-9353 or

Winter Safe Driving Tips

To help reduce the number crashes, especially fatal crashes, in Wood County, Safe Communities provides you with our top 10 tips to help keep drivers safe on the road.

10. Look out for pedestrians. Be cautious when driving near crosswalk, school zone, and high pedestrian locations. Familiarize yourself with the location of crosswalks and high traffic pedestrian areas.

9. Take a refresher course. There are opportunities for seniors and experienced drivers to take a refresher course to help ensure their family and friends that they are good to drive.

8. Drive defensively. Keep in mind other drivers and keep safe braking distances from the car in front of you. Remember if you are doubling speed the breaking distance becomes 4 times as far.

7. Look out for motorcycles. Even in cold weather, there are still motorcycles on the road! Be alert and aware of motorcycle riders.

6. Always be the driver you want your teen to be. Statistics show that your children start to learn how to drive, and your habits, from the time their car seat is moved to forward facing.

5. Know the restrictions on teen permits and license. Be familiar with the laws regarding teen drivers and make sure the teens follow theses laws while learning to drive.

4. Commercial motor vehicles are vital to our nation’s economy. While truck drivers do contribute to some traffic crashes, research shows that too many drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves by failing to recognize that trucks and cars differ in their handling characteristics.

3. Focus on driving. Driving is already multitasking don’t add more distractions. Eating, drinking, smoking, fixing hair or make-up, or using a cell phone should be avoided while driving. Hands free texting and calling is still distracting; use these devices sparingly.

2. Don’t drink and drive! If you are buzzed or have had too much to drink, call a friend, family member, or taxi to take you home.

1. Always wear your seat belt!

For More Information:

  • Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
  • 419-372-9353 or

Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk

Super Bowl Sunday is approaching and fans are starting to gear up for the February 7 game of the Broncos vs. the Panthers. Safe Communities of Wood County reminds all community members that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

Below are MVP tips that help get you and your fellow fans home safely on Super Bowl Sunday.

Hosting a Party

  • Make sure all of your guests have designated a sober driver in advance.
  • If intoxicated, help arrange an alternative way home, or have guests stay the night.
  • Serve food and have plenty non-alcoholic beverage at your party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the 3rd quarter of the game.
  • Keep the numbers of the local cab companies on hand in case guests need to get home.
  • Take keys away from guests that have had too much to drink.

Attending a Party or Going to a Bar

  • Designate a sober MVP to drive you home after the party.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, make plans to have a friend or family member pick you up, call a cab, or stay the night.
  • Eat before and during the party.
  • Never let friends drive that have had too much to drink.
  • Always buckle up! It’s your best defense while in a car.

Use these MVP fan tips to help enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday and get home safely because Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk!

For More Information:

  • Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
    419-372-9353 or

Ohio Fatal Traffic Statistics Released

There were 1,106 traffic deaths in 2015 compared with 1,008 in 2014. This total is about 10% more than the previous year.

Just to recap, there were several factors that contributed to the increase in 2015 compared to 2014:

  • The economy improved, gas prices were lower and people drove more.
  • Travel last year increased about 3 percent in Ohio and about 3.4 percent nationally.
  • Gas prices plummeted by at least 30%.
  • Ohio had a bad January and February for traffic deaths.  It leveled off in March and April, then spiked in May, which was the worst May in a decade. August was also the worst in a decade.
  • Overall, we had higher increases in crashes involving pedestrians, bicycles, older drivers, and large trucks.
  • In December, we had 20 pedestrian-related deaths, the highest in 10 years. Many of these deaths occurred at night.
  • However, the majority of traffic deaths in 2015 involved roadway departure, unbelted drivers and passengers, speed, alcohol and young drivers between the ages of 15 and 25.

So far this year, Ohio has had 45 traffic deaths compared to 73 last year. That’s a 38% reduction. No doubt we have been helped by a mild winter, so far.

Of the 2016 fatal crash reports we can access:

  • 12 were in urban areas
  • 24 were in rural areas
  • 2 involved pedestrians
  • 1 involved a motorcycle, and
  • 6 involved commercial motor vehicles (CMVs)
  • I’m sure many of these crashes also involved speeding, unbelted drivers or passengers, alcohol, and young drivers.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been 20 fatal crashes in Wood County to date. This is 9 more crashes than last year at this time.

If you plan on celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, plan on a sober driver. Even if you’ve had just a little bit to drink, you can still get a DUI and be involved in a crash. Too many people wait until they’ve been drinking to figure out their ride home. By then, it’s too late to make a clear-headed decision. You might think you’re just “buzzed” and that you’re “okay to drive,” but remember this: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

If you’re buzzed, you should not be behind the wheel. It can cost you—possibly your life.

Planning ahead is the key to avoiding a DUI or a deadly drunk driving crash. You make plans to attend parties, go to bars or sporting events, or gather with family and friends, so why not plan how to stay alive and out of jail? A sober driver is an essential part of any plan that includes drinking. Law enforcement actively looks for drunk drivers, especially around the holidays. Are you willing to risk a DUI or a fatal crash for the “convenience” of driving yourself home after drinking?

For More Information:

  • Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
    419-372-9353 or