Donna Carver | Morrow County Sentinel Lt. Leach, far right, discusses the OHP fatal crash board with Sgt. Flanagan, far right and Sgt. Niemeyer. The Mount Gilead Post 59 has investigated 5 traffic fatalities so far this year in Morrow County, 4 of the 5 were mature unrestrained drivers.

Seatbelts save lives. There is no question about that. They also can reduce the severity of injuries in an accident.

Surprisingly, the majority of unrestrained drivers are mature drivers over the age of 57.

According to the Mt. Gilead Post of the Ohio Highway patrol, they responded to 11 fatal accidents in 2014 in Morrow and Knox counties. Of the 5 fatal accidents in Morrow County, 4 of the 5 were mature drivers. 80% were unrestrained.

Lt Leach shared, “This is a serious problem in our county and we are trying to fix it. We are taking a positive effort towards it and doing everything we can to solve this serious problem.”

In 2014 of the (11) fatalities, (6) fatal victims (55%) were over the age of (57) years old. For the mature driver they were at fault in all (5) crashes they were involved in. Alcohol was not a major issue in the 2014 fatal crash picture. There was (1) youthful crash driver at fault. There were (2) motorcycle crashes both at fault/no helmets. There were (4) fatal involving commercial vehicles (2)at fault. (7) of the (I l) fatal victims were not wearing safety belts.

2015 There have been 4/7 fatalities in Morrow County and 1/6 in Knox County.

The Mt. Gilead Post Year To Date have investigated (5) fatal crashes, (4) Morrow County/ (1) Knox County which resulted in 5 deaths/ceiling 13 for 2015. Safety Belts were used in 3/5 crashes and alcohol was not a factor

Post 59 2014 provided a Fatal Crash Summary for Morrow & Knox Counties.

Total # Injured in Crashes: 793

Total # People Involved in Crashes: 4,926

In Morrow & Knox counties:

2.2 people are injured in crashes every day

• 74 children under the age of 14 were injured in crashes

• Alcohol impaired drivers were involved in 9% of all fatalities

• 192 crashes occur per month on average

Causes of Fatal Crashes:

• Unsafe Speed (30%)

• Improper Lane Change/Passing (20%)

• Failure to Yield (20%)

Causes of Injury Crashes

• Following Too Close (20%)

• Improper Lane Change/Passing (19%)

• Unsafe Speed (16%)

• Failure to Yield (14%)

Seatbelt Usage

• Only 6% of persons involved in crashes were not wearing seatbelts or wearing them improperly

• Those 5% make up 81% of the fatalities

• 35% of persons not wearing seatbelts were injured in crashes compared to 15% of persons wearing seatbelts


Click it or ticket — 79% of ejected persons die in crashes

Never text and drive – you are 23 times more likely to crash

For every 10 MPH, keep I car length between vehicles

0 to 40 MPH 4 car lengths – 60 MPH 6 car lengths

A car is not a time machine, give yourself extra time to travel

Always come to a complete stop at stop sings & look both ways before continuing

If you see a reckless or impaired driver, call #677 anywhere in Ohio

Recommendations to reduce distraction driving: Limit cell phone use when driving, keep both hands on the steering wheel, be careful when looking down to change the radio, give yourself enough space between the vehicle in front of you, give yourself enough time so you are not running late, when transporting children don’t reach back pull over and finally be active and stay healthy and get proper rest.

Please be safe this holiday season. Buckle up and save a life.

Reach Donna Carver at 419-946-3010, ext. 1804 or on Twitter @MorrCoSentinel.