By Arthur Elk
Every year, the New Year’s holiday is one of the deadliest times of year on our country’s roads. The mix of wintry weather in much of the country and impaired drivers can make a very dangerous combination.
The Ohio Highway Patrol reports that six people were killed on Ohio’s roadways during the New Year’s holiday reporting period, which was Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, and Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. Last year, 14 people were killed in Ohio during the four-day New Year’s holiday reporting period.
In 2012, the number of people killed on Ohio roads increased compared with 2011’s record low, even as troopers from the State Highway Patrol made thousands more stops for drug violations, impaired driving and other problems. The patrol reported at least 1,056 deaths in 962 fatal crashes during the past year, up from 1,015 deaths in 2011, which was the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1936.
The patrol has set the goal of lowering the number of traffic fatalities below 1,000 this year. To reach that goal, the patrol plans to continue its focus on impaired driving and high-visibility enforcement efforts, such as checkpoints targeting impaired drivers and “All-Out” days that send all its officers on patrol for a day.
At Elk & Elk, we have seen the tragic consequences of drunk driving too many times. No matter what time of year it is, we all must make smart choices every time we get behind the wheel. If you know you are going to drink, designate a driver. Or if that is not an option, call a cab. Don’t let drinking and driving ruin your life or the lives of innocent victims and their families.