Category Archives: Press Releases

Wood County Fair – Distracted Driving Day

Safe Communities of Wood County is hosting the 3rd Annual Distracted Driving Awareness Day during the Wood County Fair on Thursday, August 6, 2015 from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Building.

The day features “Brook’s Story: One Life Lost, Three Lives Saved”.  This story features a local teen who perished in a distracted driving crash. The Peterson family speaks at 6:00 pm about the struggles they have endured since the death of their daughter.  Distracted Driving Awareness Day offers games, prizes and giveaways, a driving simulator, and fun for all ages.

Safe Communities is located outside the FOP building during the week of the fair which runs August 3 through August 10, 2015.

Commercial Vehicle Crash Statistics Released

PRESS RELEASE – July 2, 2015

Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been 6 fatal crashes this year to date, an increase of 2 from this time last year. Statistics relating to commercial vehicle accidents and fatalities within Wood County from 2014 in comparison to 2013 were also released.

In 2014, there were 602 total crashes involving commercial vehicles in Wood County, accounting for 10.02% of the total accidents in the county. This is up from 2013 where 400 total commercial vehicle crashes were reported, representing 7.94% of the total accidents in the jurisdiction. In 2014, 486 crashes involved trucks, 278 (57.2%) of which were caused by truck drivers. In 2013, 305 crashes involved trucks, 174 (57.0%) of which were caused by the truck driver.

Wood County Safe Communities encourages all motor vehicle operators, including commercial vehicle operators, to refrain from distracted driving including texting, using social media, consuming food and beverage, applying health and beauty products, and other activities while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. In addition, Wood County Safe Communities urges all motorists to use extreme caution and best safety practices at all times to ensure the safety of self and others.

For More Information:

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

Safe Communities Press Release

June 30, 3015

The Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays. And why not? Families and friends gather to celebrate our country with food, parades, parties, picnics, and fireworks. Yet, there is a dark side to this national holiday. If the celebration includes alcohol, a family or neighborhood gathering can quickly go from festive to fatal if choosing to drive after drinking. Statistics for Wood County for past Fourth of July holidays show an increase in alcohol related crashes. In 2013 there were 11 crashes over the 2 day holiday period with 2 injuries, luckily with NO alcohol related crashes. In 2014, 7% of the total 18 crashes during the 4 day period were alcohol related, with 3 reported injuries.

This Fourth of July, show your patriotism by helping to make Wood County roads safer for everyone. Remember to always have alternate transportation arranged if alcohol consumption is part of your holiday plan. Call a friend, a family member, or a cab.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. It’s as simple as that.

For More Information:

  • Lt. Jerrod Savidge | 419-352-2481
  • Sandy Wiechman | Safe Communities Coordinator
    419-372-9353 –

One Text or Call Could Wreck It All

April, 2015

Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been three fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2015, compared to two for the same time period in 2014.

In an effort to make our roads safer, Wood County Safe Communities announced today that it continues to promote is continuing to promote the “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign to stop distracted driving. Wood County Safe Communities has pledged its support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.

“We all know that talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Sandy Wiechman, Coordinator for Wood County Safe Communities. “This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”

In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, eleven percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual, and cognitive. (added a comma here)

The national distracted driving effort mobilization to stop distracted driving focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness, and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.

“Every driver in Wood County has a role in this effort,” said Ms. Wiechman. “However, we especially want to reach out to parents with teen drivers because we know that statistically, the under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.”

Wood County’s goal with this campaign is simple – save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”

For More Information:
• Lt. Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
• Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
419-372-9353 or