The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Ohio Highway Patrol (OHP) are using Thanksgiving weekend as an opportunity to alert drivers about a growing problem in our state: driving under the influence of drugs.
Throughout the weekend, 130 freeway signs and numerous portable signs will display messages encouraging people to talk to each other about drug abuse.
The signs will also display statistics on drugged driving crashes in Ohio, such as:
- Drugged driving car accidents have caused 163 deaths in 2016.
- Through Oct. 12 there have been approximately 3,600 crashes involving drugged driving.
- Drugged driving crashes account for 33 percent of all impaired driving crashes in the state.
- The 2016 percentage of drugged driving crashes is a nine percent increase compared to the same period in 2015 and a 25 percent increase compared to the same period in 2011.
These messages could be seen by up to 2.3 million Ohioans per day, according to ODOT Press Secretary Matt Bruning.
Officials hope the signs will spark conversations between friends and family members and cause fewer people to drive while they are high on drugs, Bruning says.
ODOT cites research showing kids are 50 percent less likely to use drugs if their parents or other adults talk to them about substance use and abuse.
The freeway signs are part of a broader effort to raise awareness of drugged driving. There will also be posters in rest stops and bumper stickers on ODOT vehicles.
OHP is also developing curricula for parents and students about drugged driving and looking for ways to improve data collection to gain a better understanding of the problem.
Drivers are urged to report suspected drugged driving to OHP by dialing #677.
Have you been injured in an accident caused by an impaired driver? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact the car accidents attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy to review your legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid unless you receive fair compensation or a favorable verdict.