Traffic crashes, fatalities dip in Lucas Co.

Fatal crashes and motor vehicle fatalities decreased in Lucas County in 2011.

The Lucas County Traffic Safety Program reports that fatal crashes and motor vehicle fatalities decreased in Lucas County in 2011.

There were 23 fatal traffic crashes resulting in 29 deaths; two of the 29 deaths were motorcyclists, neither of which was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, and four were pedestrians. This compares with 35 fatal crashes and 40 deaths during 2010.

In 2010 there were eight motorcycle deaths (only one was wearing a helmet when they crashed) and six were pedestrians.

Forty-eight percent of the fatal crashes occurring within Lucas County in 2011 involved a driver under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both at the time of the crash resulting in 11 of the 29 traffic fatalities.

Seat belt use in the fatal crashes that did not involve a motorcycle or a pedestrian was a dismal 26 percent. Only six people that had seat belts available were wearing them at the time of the crash. Almost 70 percent of the deaths were to people not buckled up.

According to Gwen Neundorfer, Coordinator of the Lucas County Traffic Safety Program, many of these deaths could have been prevented had the person been wearing a seat belt.

"Being thrown from your vehicle is not the best outcome. There is room to live if you stay in the vehicle and aren't violently thrown around striking the hard surfaces of the vehicleâ??s interior." she said.

The Traffic Safety Program is funded through grants from the Ohio Department of Public Safety and is administered by the Lucas County Educational Service Center.