Deadly crashes on highways down statewide, state patrol data shows

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 8:35 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio’s highways are less dangerous so far this year, according to statistics 19 Investigates reviewed from Ohio State Highway Patrol.

We found deadly crashes in Ohio have dropped a lot this year compared to last year.

Deadly crashes are down by about 105 in 2022 compared to last year.

That’s 76 fewer deaths statewide.

A crash fatality map from OSHP shows 11 counties in northeast Ohio have had two or more fewer fatal crashes this year, including Cuyahoga, Summit, and Lorain counties.

Cuyahoga County is down 29 deadly crashes.

We spoke with Sgt. Santiago from Ohio State Highway Patrol to find out the possible reasons behind this drop.

“The motorists in Ohio are making better decisions behind the wheel. I know from Highway Patrol standpoint, we’re being very purposeful in everything that we do and when we say, you know, we’re providing service with the purpose. That’s that has meaning behind it.” Sgt. Santiago said.

That’s not the only downward trend state troopers are seeing.

State troopers are making less stops on our highways and roads when it comes to crashes investigated, OVI enforcement, driving under suspension enforcement, seatbelt enforcements, and distracted driving violations.

Sgt. Santiago said the decrease in overall enforcement numbers is partly due to their lack of manpower.

That’s something he said other law enforcement agencies are dealing with too.

“We have a lot of very tired troopers, they’re working to the bone and you know, we’re trying to do what we can in areas where we can. We obviously need to get some of those numbers back up,” Sgt. Santiago said.

Because of this, he said they’re working smarter, using data to target specific areas with the most problems.

For example in Canton, with impaired drivers.

“When we start to look at where the Canton Post was focusing their enforcement efforts so far this year, it’s right down I-77, right around the city. And this year’s map, it’s not nearly as dense as it was in those areas. Again, do we still see opportunities for improvement? Absolutely, but we’re making a step in the right direction,” he said.

We found Ohio State Highway Patrol is also seeing a drop in other enforcement areas from last year, including weapons and drug violations.

We’ll keep an eye on how things look through the end of the year.

If you come across any unsafe drivers on the road, including impaired drivers, you can contact state patrol by calling #677.