|The Licking County Health Department’s (LCHD) Safe Communities Coalition reported three crash fatalities in the county during the first quarter of 2023, January 1 to March 31. During the same time frame last year, there were also three crash fatalities reported. Our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones involved.|
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to NHTSA, 32,657 people died in distraction-affected crashes over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. A distraction-affected crash is any traffic crash in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash. Research shows that Millennials and Generation Z are the most distracted drivers, often using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. In 2021, 7% of drivers 15 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted.
The Safe Communities Coalition and local law enforcement will continue efforts to decrease fatalities by reminding everyone, U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Although simple, this initiative acts as a reminder for drivers to make smart decisions and know the effects of their choices.
The Safe Communities Coalition, local law enforcement and NHTSA urge drivers to put their phones away when behind the wheel. If you need to text, pull over and do not drive while doing so. If you are the driver, follow these steps for a safe driving experience:
|If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.|
|Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay. For more information, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving|
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.
For more information on traffic safety issues and crash data in Licking County visit the Ohio State Highway Patrol website.
NEWARK, OHIO, Dec. 7, 2023 — Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) was recently awarded $612,039.96 in …