Where do all the traffic accidents happen in Ohio? Are there roads you should avoid? This map shows the most dangerous roads in Ohio, based on Ohio Department of Public Safety data from 2013. Each Non-Freeway and Freeway point represents a 1/10 mile stretch of road. Each point includes data on the average number of crashes per year and the average number of injuries and fatalities per year. Zoom in to your town to learn which spots to avoid.
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Top Causes of Car Crashes in Ohio:
Most of us drive every single day. We hop in the car, buckle up, and head off without a thought. It’s easy to forget that a car is a dangerous piece of machinery – a moment’s inattention can be fatal. The best way to be safer on the road is to be aware of dangerous conditions and behaviors so you can avoid them. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top causes of car crashes in Ohio in 2013.
10. Left of Center – 4,055 Crashes
The tenth most common cause of car crashes in Ohio in 2013 was driving left of center. Driving “left of center” means crossing over to the oncoming lane. People usually drive left of center in order to pass someone on a two-lane highway. Crashes happen because it’s often difficult to see oncoming cars around the car in front of you or around a bend in the road.
A distracted driver may also cross the center line while occupied with another activity, such as texting or eating.
9. Improper Turn – 6,258 Crashes
If you’re in a hurry and miss your turn, it can be very tempting to make an illegal turn to get where you’re going. Remember that the rules of the road exist for a reason – if a turn is prohibited, that’s probably because it’s dangerous. Distracted drivers are also prone to making improper turns because they’re not paying attention to what they’re doing.
8. Alcohol – 7,034 Crashes
We all know it’s illegal to drink and drive. Alcohol slows down your reflexes and your ability to process information. Driving is hard enough when you can react normally, and slowing down your reaction time makes you far more likely to be in an accident. Unfortunately, many people still feel they are capable of drinking and driving. Sometimes people have a hard time judging when they’ve had too much and sometimes people simply believe they’re capable of driving drunk. It only takes about 2 drinks to put you over the legal limit, so choose a designated driver or take a cab home.
7. Running Red Lights – 7,106 Crashes
Sometimes it seems like the light turns red just to spite you. When you’re in a hurry, it feels like you get stuck at every red light. When you’re pulling up to the light and it turns yellow, it’s easy to want to step on the gas and get through the intersection. You just have to resist that temptation. Running a red light is very dangerous and you’re not just putting yourself at risk. You’re putting everyone else in the intersection at risk, too.
Distracted driving is also an issue – distracted drivers often simply miss the light turning yellow or red.
6. Improper Backing – 8,988 Crashes
“Improper backing” refers to backing your car up when it’s not safe to do so. These accidents are rarely fatal – only 1 fatality was attributed to improper backing in 2013. Improper backing crashes typically cause property damage. It’s important to take careful stock of your surroundings before backing up. Make sure there are no people or cars in your path and make sure your full attention is on the road.
5. Unsafe Speed – 11,993 Crashes
Everyone speeds sometimes. That’s just a given on the road. In some areas, everyone on the road goes 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit. When we think of speeding, we’re mostly worried about getting a ticket. Speeding, however, can also be fatal. The faster you’re going, the less time you have to react to whatever is happening on the road. It’s also more difficult to control your vehicle when you’re driving fast.
4. Improper Lane Change or Passing – 20,842 Crashes
Changing lanes is one of the most dangerous parts of driving. It’s complicated; you have to manage 2 lanes of traffic instead of 1. Lane changes are also where your blind spot is most problematic. It’s tough to see if there’s someone right behind you in the next lane, so you run the risk of pulling over and hitting them. You learned in Drivers’ Ed. to always check your blind spot, but many people trust their mirrors and don’t bother. Many people also multitask while driving and don’t pay close enough attention to the cars around them while changing lanes.
3. Failure to Yield – 33,709 Crashes
Merging is tough. It has all the complexity of changing lanes, plus the added difficulty of losing 1 or more lanes. These types of crashes often happen on highway on- and off-ramps, so speed is also an issue. When you’re required to yield and don’t, you’re at risk for a crash. The other drivers are expecting you to yield and will act accordingly.
2. Failure to Control – 40,705 Crashes
While failure to control the vehicle is the second most common cause of crashes, it is the number one cause of fatalities. Failure to control accounted for almost 20% of the fatal crashes in 2013. It’s a fairly wide umbrella covering a number of possible types of crashes, but the general theme is losing control of the vehicle. That can happen when you swerve, slam on the brakes, or are driving in dangerous weather conditions.
Failure to control is also frequently a distracted driving issue. If you’re not paying adequate attention, you’re more likely to need to swerve or slam on your brakes or perform some other emergency maneuver.
1. Following Too Closely – 67,050 Crashes
By far, the most common accident cause in Ohio in 2013 was tailgating. When you’re following too closely, you don’t have time to react to what the driver in front of you is doing. You’re likely to rear-end her, which is bad news for your insurance rates.
Don’t Become a Statistic
Sometimes, an accident is just an accident. In 2013, there were almost 6,000 crashes that were no one’s fault. That just goes to show that driving is dangerous enough without taking extra risks.
One of the most important steps you can take to stay safe on the road is to focus only on driving when you’re behind the wheel. Talking on the phone, eating, grooming, and dealing with passengers takes up too much of your attention and puts you and your passengers at risk. Studies show that your accident risk triples when you take on a second task while driving. When you’re answering a text message, your eyes are off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At 55 mph, you’ll cover more than 100 yards – it’s like driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded. Hands-free devices are no safer than hands-on ones.
Remember that other drivers may be distracted, too. The best way to keep yourself and your passengers safe is to keep your eyes on the road.