Crashes Involving Students Rise with Summer Temperatures

ODOT combats crash increase with “Share the Road Ohio” campaign

COLUMBUS (June 10, 2011) – As summer temperatures rise, so do crashes involving school-age children – especially those who walk and ride bikes.

In fact, a recent five-year study by ODOT reveals crashes involving school-age children (ages 5-18) make up nearly 40 percent of all pedestrian and bicyclist crashes – with June through August combining for more than 3,500 crashes, the largest three-month total.

To help reverse this trend and improve roadway safety for all travelers, ODOT is launching its new “Share the Road Ohio” safety campaign – with the goal of reducing roadway fatalities by 5 percent by 2015.

“Everyone has the right to use Ohio’s roads and safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.  “Share the Road aims to help all roadway users know these laws, be respectful and remain aware of others on the road.”

ODOT safety experts say the increase in crashes during the summer months is due to a combination of factors.  The first being the beginning of summer vacation for students, which means there is an influx of  kids who are outside playing and engaging in recreational activities.  

The second factor is that many school-age kids get around by either walking or riding a bike and are unfamiliar with biking and pedestrian traffic laws.

This summer, ODOT is mobilizing a grassroots statewide effort to distribute roadway safety information via tip cards, events, public service announcements, web videos, a safe driving simulator and partnerships with law enforcement agencies.  Bicycle, pedestrian, motorcycle and motorist advocacy groups and clubs will also play a pivotal role in communicating the safety message. 

In 2010, there were nearly 299,767 crashes across Ohio with 1,081 deaths and 10,175 serious injuries. Between 2006 and 2010, more than 23,297 crashes were pedestrian and bicycle-related resulting in 552 fatalities and 20,478 injuries (3,699 serious injuries). ShareTheRoadTipcard

  For “Share the Road” safety tips please see attached Tip Card.

Share the Road is part of a national effort to encourage roadway safety and awareness.  

For more information contact:
Melissa Ayers, Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
or your local ODOT District Communications Office