Category Archives: Safe Communities

Watch Out for Aggressive Drivers

According to The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving has become a major concern of the public, ranking at or near the top of traffic safety issues in national surveys.

The Foundation defines aggressive driving as “any single unsafe driving behavior performed deliberately and with ill-intention.” As many as 56 percent of fatal crashes involve one or more unsafe driving behaviors typically associated with aggressive driving. Speeding is the most common contributing factor and is involved in nearly one in three deadly crashes.

TIPS TO COMBAT AGGRESSIVE DRIVING

  • Don’t have a “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude
  • Plan your trip
  • Avoid dangerous interactions and confrontations
  • Avoid eye contact with aggressive drivers
  • Do not take the actions of other drivers personally
  • Be a courteous and patient driver
  • Do not tailgate and use the left lane only when passing
  • Use signals and with plenty of warning
  • Use the horn only as a safety device
  • Obey the speed limit
  • Identify alternative routes
  • Just be late
  • Get out of the way and let an aggressive driver pass
  • Don’t challenge aggressive drivers

For More Information:

The Most Important Player for the Super Bowl – A Designated Driver

Football fans across the country will celebrate America’s most watched national sporting event, Super Bowl LI, on Sunday, February 5. For many, this celebration includes drinking alcohol.

Drunk driving can be deadly. A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment and reaction times enough to make driving unsafe. According to NHTSA, in 2015 10,265 people—29 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States—were killed in crashes that involved an impaired driver.

Super Bowl Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. If you want to be the MVP of Super Bowl LI, volunteer to be a designated driver to help your family and friends get home safely. Drunk driving only leads to disaster and tragedy. It is never worth the risk. If you do plan to drink, remember to pass the keys to a sober driver before kickoff.

Designated sober drivers for Super Bowl weekend should refrain from drinking alcohol and enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks instead. They can tweet @NHTSAgov during Super Bowl LI to be featured on NHTSA’s national Wall of Fame. It would be great to see designated drivers from Wood County on the Wall of Fame, tag us @SafeCommWC as well.

This Super Bowl weekend, be a team player and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Designate your sober driver before the big game begins and remember: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

For More Information:

  • William Bowers, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481
  • Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator: 419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu

Seat Belts Save Lives

Seat belts are the most effective traffic safety feature ever invented and have helped save thousands of lives. Unfortunately, one in five Americans fail to regularly wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education, strong laws, and law enforcement officers saving lives. The annual safety campaign is designed to urge all occupants to always buckle safety belts while riding in vehicles on America’s roadways. Thousands of Americans are alive today because a seat belt saved them during a crash. In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older.

“We have made enormous progress as a nation in increasing seat belt use, but far too many people are still dying because they are not buckled up during crashes,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Before you even turn the key, make sure that everyone in your car has their seat belt on, every trip, day and night.”

Last year in Ohio, seat belt use was recorded at 83.9%. This is down 1.1% from 2014, which was recorded at 85.0%. While these numbers are great, Safe Communities would like to remind everyone to wear seat belts, every time, in order to save lives.

For More Information:

  • William Bowers, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481
  • Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator: 419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu

Thanksgiving Crash Statistics

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, with more people on the road increasing the likelihood of a crash. During the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend 341 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, with 50 percent not wearing  seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. Thanksgiving weekend crashes that occurred at night, the percentage of unbuckled occupants killed jumped to 58 percent. In Wood County there were 52 crashes in 2015’s Thanksgiving period including one fatal crash.

With the excitement of holiday parties and celebrations, drivers may be tempted to take the roadways after drinking. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that any decision to drive while impaired can have serious and even deadly consequences. Nationally in 2015, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and 29 percent (10,265) died in crashes where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08. In the entire state of Ohio, there were 4,007 total crashes in the same Thanksgiving period, resulting in nine fatalities, four of which were alcohol related.

Safe Communities of Wood County extends a friendly reminder to stay safe this upcoming holiday season by buckling up, driving sober, and staying attentive on the roadways.

Daylight Saving Traffic Safety

Daylight Saving Time has passed, bringing with it an earlier start to darkness. According to Time, “the loss of an hour of afternoon sunlight when it (DST) ends may increase the likelihood of traffic accidents.” Better light equals better safety, therefore the need for increased attentiveness while driving increases as Daylight Saving Time ends. According to CBC News, “People walking during rush hour in the first few weeks after the clocks fall back in the autumn were more than three times as likely to be fatally struck by cars than before the change.”  

There have been a reported 10 fatal crashes to date in Wood County this year, down from 24 at this time in 2015. This decrease in fatal accidents could be attributed to the  95% of people who reported regularly wearing their seatbelts this year, post Click It or Ticket survey. According to the AAA Foundation, “seat belts are the single most effective means of reducing the risk of death in a crash and have saved nearly 300,000 lives since 1975 in the U.S. alone.”

Another contribution to the decrease of fatal accidents this year could be the promotion of drunk driving advocacy and the decrease in alcohol related fatal crashes. 2015 saw a 9.2% decrease in fatal crashes that were alcohol related in Wood County in two years. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.

For More Information:
* Lt. William Bowers, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481
* Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator:
419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu