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Winter driving tips, as well
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about ODOT's snow and ice operations.

Ohio Department of Insurance joins ODOT to reduce Costly Crashes in Ice and Snow

Birthday, Clock, and Foot Weight Leading Factors in Winter Roadway Accidents


COLUMBUS (December 2, 2008) – With winter driving season upon us, the Ohio Department of Insurance is joining the Ohio Department of Transportation’s “Ice and Snow… Take It Slow” safety campaign, with a warning to check your birthday, the clock, and the weight of your foot - three leading factors in winter roadway accidents.

At a news event in Columbus, ODOT Director James Beasley and Insurance Director Mary Jo Hudson highlighted the main causes behind the more than 28,000 crashes last winter, and how reducing the number of crashes this winter could prevent car insurance premiums from going up next year.

Your Birthday: Ohio drivers between the ages of 16-25 account for 1 out of every 3 accidents during the winter. Education is the key for our most inexperienced drivers. Remind young drivers to take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps and overpasses - all are hotspots for black ice and slippery conditions.

The Clock: More than 36% of crashes occur after the sun goes down, even though there are fewer cars on the road. If you must travel at night, know before you go: ODOT’s premiere website BuckeyeTraffic.org provides up-to-the-minute highway information on weather and road conditions, road closures, Highway Patrol accident updates and traffic congestion alerts; all available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Your Foot: Having a “lead foot” in the winter is dangerous. Excessive speed continues to be one of the biggest factors for crashes in ice and snow. Drivers who don’t remember to take it slow in ice and snow are six times more likely to get into a crash, compared to non-winter weather driving.

“Over the past three years, the average auto insurance premium has gone down,” said Insurance Director Hudson, “and we are expecting another decrease for 2007. But to keep those costs down requires all of us to be safer drivers, especially this winter season.”

According to the Department of Insurance, even if you aren’t involved in a crash this winter, your premium could still increase because someone else in your same insurance demographic didn’t heed the warning of Ice and Snow… Take It Slow. So it’s important to share this safety message with family and friends.

“Safety begins behind the wheel,” said ODOT Director Beasley. “Conditions on the road can change mile by mile, minute by minute. Knowing that winter weather can arrive at any time, we all need to practice safe driving skills: share the road responsibly, respect snowplows on the highways, and remember, in Ice and Snow… Take it Slow.”


For more information, contact Nancy Burton,
ODOT Central Office Communications, at (614) 728-8915
or Jarrett Dunbar, Ohio Department of Insurance, at (614) 644-2475
or your local ODOT District Communications Office.