Provisional numbers released by the State Highway Patrol show 13 people were killed on Ohio’s roadways during the Thanksgiving holiday, two fatalities below the four-year average.
During the reporting period, which began Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 12 a.m., and ran through Sunday, Dec. 1, at 11:59 p.m., 13 people were killed in 11 crashes. This is an increase from last year, when 12 people were killed in nine crashes. During the same period in 2011, 17 people died; in 2010, 18 lost their lives.
Of those who were killed this year, seven were not wearing safety belts, three were killed in two crashes involving drivers operating their vehicle while under the influence and one pedestrian was killed.
“Even though we are encouraged that OVI-related fatalities decreased this holiday, lack of safety-belt usage remains a significant problem area,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, patrol superintendent, in a news release. “Motorists need to remember that wearing a safety belt is the single most important thing they can do to protect themselves during a crash.”
The patrol arrested 503 drivers for OVI during the holiday weekend, a nearly 9 percent increase over last year’s holiday. The patrol responded to a total of 24,913 calls, 247 of which were in Athens County.
Provisional statistics through November of this year show that alcohol-related fatal crashes are down, with 277 killed in 2013 compared to 468 when compared to the same time period in 2012. Additionally, those killed while not wearing a safety belt has also declined during the same period, with 379 this year and 531 in 2012.
A complete statistical analysis of the patrol’s enforcement activity over the holiday weekend is available at statepatrol.ohio.gov.