Safer summer driving always can save lives

Warm and sunny days are on the horizon, and state safety officials are gearing up for the “100 deadliest days of summer,” according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, there is an “increase in vehicular crashes and deaths.” Not a surprise, really, given the way our driving and social habits change during the summer, but the numbers are still startling.

Last year, there were 73,626 crashes on Ohio roadways during the summer — an average of 675 per day. Included in that figure were 452 fatal crashes that killed 478 people. Of course, the two major causes of those deaths are speeding and operating a vehicle while impaired (by alcohol or drugs) — 59 percent of fatal crashes were OVI related, and 31 percent were speed related. Sadly, a commercial semi driver was killed in the early hours Monday in our county. He was reportedly transporting amusement rides for the East Palestine Street Fair.

Motorcyclists face an even greater danger during these 100 days, partly because the weather is so much more suitable for them to enjoy a ride. In 2020, this time period saw 60 percent of all motorcycle-involved crashes for the year. Those incidents included 128 fatal crashes in which 132 people were killed.

Be smart about enjoying summer driving and riding, folks. And remember to keep an eye out for those who are not so vigilant.

“Protect yourself and others on the road by committing to safe driving habits such as driving sober, obeying the speed limit and not driving distracted,” Col. Richard S. Fambro, patrol superintendent, said.

It’s good advice, and, if followed, it could keep you and your passengers alive to enjoy many summers to come.


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