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Division of Planning ~ Program Management ~ Highway Safety

To reduce crashes and injuries, and save lives, the Ohio Department of Transportation works with the public and local, state and federal agencies to identify and improve high-crash and severe-crash locations through engineering and enforcement of traffic laws, and to promote safe driving behavior through public education.

In 2016, Ohio had 1,133 traffic-related deaths. There were also 9,207 serious injuries on Ohio roads and 305,959 crashes. In addition to the emotional toll, the economic cost to Ohio is about $13 billion per year in lost wages, increased healthcare and other related costs.

Despite these numbers, Ohio has made significant progress in highway safety over the past decade. Since 2005, Ohio traffic deaths have decreased 15%; serious injuries decreased 17%; and all crashes decreased 15%.

The responsibility for roadway safety is ultimately shared by the public, government agencies, elected officials and safety advocates. Motorists, in particular, must recognize their role in preventing crashes. The following table shows the most common causes of fatalities in Ohio and how motorist behavior and choices contribute to the problem.

Crash Type/Behavior Total Fatalities % of All Fatalities
Roadway Departure 570 50%
​No Seat Belt ​357 ​32%
​Speed 389 ​34%
​Alcohol ​346 ​31%
​Intersection ​304 ​27%

Note: Roadway departure crashes occur when a driver leaves the travel lane and hits another object.

Many fatalities have multiple factors. For example, a driver impaired by alcohol may leave the road, hit a tree, be ejected from the vehicle if not wearing a seat.


Every Move You Make Toward Zero Deaths
Every Move You Make Keep It Safe