Community News May 24, 2016

Adena and Ohio Dept. of Public Safety Partner to Improve Driver Health and Safety

Adena Health System is teaming up with the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) to showcase the importance of traffic and motorcycle safety, and how it relates to the overall health of our region. The ODPS’s “Safe Communities Program” uses local partnerships, like the one with Adena, to deliver traffic safety messages and programs throughout the year.

“Accidental deaths are the fourth leading cause of death in Ross County,” said Kim Jones, Adena’s Director of Community Health Advancement. “Adena sees a lot of patients from motor vehicle accidents in our Emergency Departments. Through this partnership, we can educate our community to prevent further injuries and accidents, greatly impacting the overall health of people in our region.”

Nearly 50 percent of people involved in fatal crashes nationwide are not restrained. In some states, the rate of those unrestrained drivers and passengers involved in fatal crashes can be as high as 70 percent. 

Throughout this spring and summer, Adena and local law enforcement are participating in the national Click It or Ticket campaign, in hopes of saving lives through increased seat belt use. The enforcement period is underway and comes just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday - one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

On May 26, Adena will be part of a Click it or Ticket kick-off event outside the Chillicothe Fire Station (54 E. Water Street) during the Feast of the Flowering Moon Festival. The event begins at 4 p.m.  At 6 p.m., special guest Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Heath Ward will discuss the importance of seat belt and motorcycle safety. Attendees can enter prize drawings and receive other promotional items. 

In addition to encouraging seat belt use, Adena and ODPS are also encouraging driver safety through the Share the Road program. The program is intended to raise driver awareness of motorcycle safety and increase safety for all road users. In 2015, there were 27 motorcycle crashes in Ross County.

As more motorcyclists share the road during these warmer months, Adena and ODPS offer these safe-driving tips:

  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic;
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections;
  • Always increase the following distance to three to four seconds when traveling behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency; and
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these safe-driving tips:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear;
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed;
  • Use hand and turn signals with every lane change or turn;
  • Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility;
  • Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers; and
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.