Ohio’s roads were less busy in 2020 than they were in other recent years, but this did not translate into fewer car crashes and road fatalities. Research shows that crashes, road deaths and road deaths resulting from motorists operating vehicles while impaired all rose in 2020.
Per the Dayton Daily News, some of these trends continued into 2021. By April of 2021, Ohio saw 276 total road fatalities. By April of 2020, there were 234 road deaths that had occurred within state lines.
The role of driver impairment
Many crashes and fatal crashes that took place in Ohio in 2020 involved motorists operating vehicles while impaired. There were 13,136 OVI-involved car wrecks across Ohio last year, and those crashes resulted in 685 traffic deaths. Comparatively, the year prior, in 2019, there were 13,047 OVI-related car crashes in Ohio, and those wrecks resulted in 597 traffic fatalities.
The role of speed
Many wrecks and fatal wrecks that took place in 2020 also involved motorists who were speeding. Ohio law enforcement officials reported an uptick in the number of drivers speeding through the state in 2020. In addition to an increase in the number of motorists driving more than 20 mph above the posted limit, there was also an uptick in the number of drivers stopped for traveling above 100 mph.
Ohio safety advocates and officials have made efforts to raise awareness about impaired driving. So far, these efforts appear to be paying off. The number of OVI-related crashes seen statewide through April of this year is lower than that seen through April of last year.