The Licking County Health Department’s (LCHD) Safe Communities Coalition reported seven crash fatalities in the county during the second quarter of 2022, April 1st to July 31st. There were four reported crash fatalities in the 1st quarter of 2022. This is an increase by three fatalities for this quarter compared to the last. The traffic fatality YTD for 2022 is 11 fatalities, compared to a YTD of 15 traffic fatalities during this time last year in 2021. While the YTD may be lower than last year, it is important to remember safe driving habits on the road to keep you and other road users safe.
“So far this year, a troubling development in our county is the number of fatal crashes involving drivers or passengers not utilizing their seatbelts and driving distracted,” said Sia Williams, Safe Communities Coordinator at LCHD. During the 2nd quarter of 2022 in Licking County, 5 out of the 11 vehicle occupants (including driver and passengers) involved were not wearing their seat belt. As we get through the summer months and more people are on the road, remember to always make smart decisions both as a driver and passenger. The simple act of buckling up or putting your phone down while driving could save your life,” concluded Williams.
As we approach August, the big focus for traffic safety is Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. It’s illegal everywhere in America to drive under the influence of alcohol, and Safe Communities coordinator Sia Williams reminds us, “it’s vital drivers understand they put themselves and others at risk when they make the decision to drive impaired. If you know you will be out drinking, plan a sober ride home in advance with a family member, friend, or ride-sharing app. Even one drink can be one too many. Do not put yourself and others at risk because you make one wrong decision to drive impaired”, concluded Williams. The Safe Communities Coalition and local law enforcement will continue efforts to decrease fatalities by reminding everyone to Ride Smart and
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Although simple, this initiative acts as a reminder for drivers to make smart decisions on the road.
The Coalition is a group of community partners with a goal to reduce traffic-related deaths. It is administered by the Licking County Health Department and provides traffic fatality updates quarterly to the community. It is the Coalition’s mission to educate the public about the consequences of dangerous driving behaviors such as drinking and driving, reckless driving, distracted driving, not wearing a seat belt, and not wearing a helmet when operating a motorcycle. The fatality updates keep the public informed on the common driving behaviors that cause fatal crashes and educate the community to create safer drivers.