Speed and Distraction – Enemies of Safe Driving
Roadway departure crashes
These types of crashes occur when a driver runs off the road and hits something – usually a tree, a light pole, another car or fixed object. Sometimes a car will cross the center line and hit an oncoming vehicle.
Major problem in rural areas of Ohio
Rural roads can be dangerous because people tend to drive faster on rural roads than in the city. There generally is no sidewalk or only a narrow shoulder and drivers have little room for error if they lose control. Often overhead lighting is poor, compounding problems when it is dark.
Cause of roadway departure crashes
Too often driver error is the cause of these types of crashes with sleepiness, distraction, alcohol or speed playing a role in the crash. Bad weather like rain, snow, fog or dust can also contribute to these crashes by limiting vision and creating deteriorating road conditions.
Roadway Departure Crash Statistics (charts)
|Roadway Departure Crashes (2008-2012) |
Tips For Driving Safely In Intersections
- Be alert. If fatigued, pull over to a rest stop or drink a caffeinated beverage.
- Avoid distractions like talking on the cell phone, texting, eating, talking with passengers or adjusting the radio.
- Watch your speed, especially when conditions are wet or icy.
- Always wear your seat belt. It’s the law in Ohio.
- Be aware of horizontal curves in the road. Slow your speed.
- Be aware of shoulder drop offs. Often times there is a slight drop at he edge of the road.
- Obey passing regulations. A solid yellow line means no passing.
- Don’t overreact if you run off the road. Firmly grip the steering wheel and gently steer your vehicle back to the road. Abruptly braking or using the accelerator can make the problem worse.
- Drive with your bright lights on at night when no traffic is approaching
- Pay attention to advisory speeds – they are there for a reason and are an important warning of unusual conditions.