Trooper Patricia Nemeth, Circleville Post, Ohio State Highway Patrol
CIRCLEVILLE – Sixty-nine percent of the fatal accidents that occurred in Pickaway County in 2016 involved mature drivers. In eight of the nine fatalities, the mature driver was found to be “at fault” in the accident. Three of the nine individuals were not wearing a seat belt.
“Mature driver” is defined as a driver 55 or older.
One of the drivers on Tarleton-Adelphi Road went left of center and was not wearing a seatbelt. Three perished in failure to yield the right of way crashes. Five individuals drove off the road for unknown reasons. There are multiple causes for these fatalities, but some of them are entirely preventable and within your control.
Distracted driving is an epidemic. Eating, talking or texting on your phone, and ensuring your seat is in the proper position for you to see, wearing a seat belt, and driving the speed limit are all within your control.
Recently, a 71-year-old female was stopped on Walnut Creek Pike for speeding. Her seat was reclined, and her head was tipped back in order for her to eat crackers from a cellophane package. The gravel berm on Walnut Creek Pike is less than a foot with a substantial ditch line on either side of the road. She had no room for mistakes. Not realizing she was speeding and displaying unsafe driving traits, she was a potential statistic.
Properly securing your seat belt and ensuring your seat is adjusted properly are easy and quick lifesaving steps. A seat belt ticket in Pickaway County is $91.00. Save your life and save your pocketbook – put on your safety belt.
Many people mistakenly believe that the highway is dangerous and back roads are safe. Drivers fail to give back roads the increased attention that is necessary when navigating them. Smaller berms, gravel berms, no center line and a lack of a straight course all lead back roads to be very dangerous for all drivers, but particularly mature drivers who are familiar with the roadway and perhaps fail to give driving the necessary attention.
Reaction time decreases as our ages increase. Eyesight diminishes. Take the time to visit your doctor to get your prescription checked.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Circleville Post, cares about our mature drivers. We want you to employ every tool available to you to ensure your safety while driving our roads.
Those nine mature drivers were stolen from us too early. Don’t be the next statistic.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal