ODOT & Rinkes Insurance partnering with Safe Kids Carroll County to promote Distracted Driver Awareness

ODOT Reminds Drivers:  Stay Alert to Stay Alive Behind the Wheel
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Tuesday, April 29, 2014)The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 and Rinkes Insurance LLC, Nationwide agent in Carrollton, have teamed up with Safe Kids Carroll County to present the Distracted Driver Simulator Tour at Carrollton High School this Thursday, May 1st, during their pre-prom activities between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (photo ops available).
Sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, the simulator tour stops at safety-related events across the state to help combat distracted driving. It is part of ODOT’s comprehensive roadway safety campaign “Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe” which aims to educate Ohioans on how to use the roads safely – whether behind the wheel, behind the handlebars, or on foot. 
“Distracted driving is dangerous and has serious – even fatal – consequences,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “In particular, cell phone use while driving is very risky, and the simulator tour helps show Ohioans the real dangers and consequences of distracted driving.”
Between 2006 and 2012, 214 people died and 3,182 people were seriously injured in crashes where the driver was distracted or fatigued.
“Every time you take your eyes off the road – even for just a few seconds – you put your life in danger, and you put others in danger too,” said Lloyd MacAdam, ODOT District 11 Deputy Director.
Crashes cost Ohioans nearly $13 billion a year. About 40 percent of all serious injuries in Ohio occur at intersections, and more than 50 percent of all fatalities involve roadway departure crashes. These crashes occur when drivers and riders leave the road and hit fixed objects such as trees and utility poles, or they leave the travel lane and sideswipe another vehicle or hit it head on.
“Each year distracted driving accidents account for millions of dollars in damages and countless numbers of lives,” said Jon Rinkes, Rinkes Insurance. “Rinkes Insurance, Nationwide, and Safe Kids Carroll County want drivers to understand that every time they talk or text behind the wheel they are making a choice that could have devastating and irreversible consequences.”
In 2012, there were nearly 300,000 traffic crashes across Ohio with more than 1,120 deaths and 9,700 serious injuries. ODOT’s safety campaign is linked to the state’s overall goal of reducing roadway fatalities five percent by 2015. Many crashes can be prevented through better safety awareness and safe-driving practices.
The distracted driver simulator experience challenges the participant to navigate city streets and highways while talking on the phone, sending text messages, and listening to passenger conversations. It also includes a simulation of driving with impaired abilities, such as those caused by drug or alcohol use. Find out more, by visiting www.everymove.ohio.gov.
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Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.
 
For more information, contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us