Ohio on track for lowest number of deaths on roadways since state began keeping tabs in 1936

ODOT innovation, motorist choices helping to make roads safer.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Dec 18, 2013


If the trend continues for the last two weeks of 2013, Ohio will record the least deadly year on state roadways ever. So far this year, 945 people have died on Ohio roadways. That’s the lowest number since the state began keeping tabs in 1936 when 2,389 people died on Ohio’s roadways.

State officials are cautiously optimistic about breaking the record this year but warn that motorist decisions are key factors in making roadways safer.

“Roadway engineering is getting better, vehicle engineering is getting better and law enforcement is getting better. When you combine all of those, you get safer roadways for the traveling public and more people making it home safely to their families each day,” said Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jerry Wray. “In many cases, deadly crashes are preventable and motorists decide how safe the roads are going to be at any given time by driving sober, eliminating distractions and wearing seatbelts.”

The most fatal year on Ohio’s roadways was 1969 when 2,778 people died. Roadway deaths have seen a steady decline since then and reached its lowest point in 2011 when 1,016 people died. In 2012, that number was 1,122.

ODOT says years and years of information, statistics and knowledge are helping to make better, more informed decisions about its main function – building and maintaining roads. Improved roadway engineering and safer construction standards are helping to fuel the sharp decline in traffic deaths.

In addition to spending billions of dollars each year on roadway maintenance and construction, the department spends more than $100 million each year specifically on safety-related improvements on all public roads – state or local. The department uses the money to complete safety improvements at high-crash or severe-crash locations, realign intersections to eliminate bad visibility, and add turn lanes or new traffic signals to improve safety.

Some additional roadway improvements include:

· Cable barriers to prevent cross-median crashes

· Guardrail upgrades and improvements

· Rumble strips to prevent drivers from leaving the roadway

· Wider pavement markings to improve visibility

· Larger, more reflective warning signs on curves

Along with the Ohio Department of Public Safety, ODOT has made driver safety a priority and will use freeway message signs throughout December to display safety-related messages. On weekends, the signs will say, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and on weekdays, the signs will say, “Click It or Ticket, Day and Night.”

Of the 1,122 traffic deaths recorded last year, 470 were alcohol-related and 419 were drivers or passengers who were not buckled up. These are the two biggest factors currently contributing to traffic deaths in Ohio.

For a chart displaying the number of roadway deaths in Ohio dating back to 1936, click HERE.



Seeing how this year has had some of the fastest speed limits the state has ever allowed??
I guess the whole "55 stay alive" was a crock?
Maybe in the future the same for "click it or ticket" will be proven to be driven because of the money maker abilities.

Sorry i just don't get into all these "FOR YOUR OWN GOOD" laws
always seems to be driven by other reasons than what is put forth after some time.


Almost every law concerning safety is a response to people doing stupid things and you can't fix that.

hit the road jack

I see that Illinois with their split speed limit has 953 traffic deaths this year,by years end I'll bet it will be over 1,000. of course they drive like their on drugs at all times of the day anyway.