A Canfield Ohio chain reaction crash resulting in a three-mile back-up after a one-car crash resulted in a chain reaction of multiple cars that brings us to look at how we can avoid these Ohio crashes. Chain-reaction crashes are common, particularly on interstate roads with high-speed limits. Chain reaction crashes often occur in the winter when ice and snow make stopping take longer, and visibility from falling snow and skies that darken earlier in the evening making it harder to spot other vehicles on the road.
Ohio Chain-Reaction Crash Statistics
Ohio usually sees several hundred chain-reaction crashes each year. From 1990 to 1999, Ohio had an average of about 800 chain-reaction crashes per year. However, the trend for chain-reaction crashes has reduced over time. The multiple crash numbers from 1999 was 779, down from 932 in 1990. Ohio’s recent stress on safe driving, particularly during unsafe winter road conditions, has helped keep Ohio drivers safe on the road even with ice, snow, and other unfavorable driving conditions. (December 2013, https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809-301.pdf)
This year, Ohio has seen numerous chain reaction crashes. Some of the most high-profile Ohio crash cases are listed below:
- In March, three busses traveling on Fred Taylor Drive at Columbus University collided when the lead bus slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a car that suddenly swerved in front of the bus. Seven people were injured in the crash.
- In August, a semi-truck traveling along I-75 crashed rear-ended a car, which ended up hitting another semi-truck in the rear. A total of three semi-trucks and 4 vehicles were involved in the crash, which killed two people.
- In November, a vehicle swerved off the road along Route 11 in Canfield, which caused a chain-reaction crash involving two other vehicles. There were no serious injuries from the crash.
- Another accident from November involved a vehicle stopping on State Route 41 in Clark Country, which caused two other vehicles to crash into the back of the stopped vehicle. No injuries were recorded. (March 2013, https://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/03/07/concertgoers-injured-in-chain-reaction-bus-crash.html) (August 2013, https://www.wdtn.com/news/local/montgomery/huge-fire-burning-at-i-75-near-tipp-city) (November 2013, https://www.wfmj.com/story/24043224/chain-reaction-accident-on-route-11-thursday https://www.wdtn.com/news/local/clark/osp-investigating-chain-reaction-crash)
Tips for Driving Safely This Winter
The Ohio Department of Public Safety has founded the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness in an effort to keep drivers safe on the road to avoid multiple car collisions and injuries on the road in 2013-2014.
The OCSWA recommends drivers use the following safety tips to prevent accidents on the road due to severe winter weather conditions:
- Pay attention to weather conditions before setting out. Allow extra time for driving when the weather is bad. Avoid traveling before a snowstorm or in icy weather.
- If possible, use a front-wheel-drive vehicle when driving through snow and ice. Front-wheel drive vehicles have better road traction.
- Turn on your lights when you turn on your windshield wipers. According to ORC 4513.03, lights must always be on when windshield wipers are on. Failure to do so is a secondary offense and can result in fines starting at $100.
- Keep your gas tank at least half-full to prevent fuel line freezes.
- Allow yourself extra time and space to stop at traffic lights and behind other vehicles. Rear-ending crashes are common in Ohio winters.
- Gently pump breaks to stop them on icy roads. Do not pump AB brakes. Following these tips will help you avoid Ohio chain reaction crashes from winter weather conditions. (December 2013, https://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/wintervehiclesafetytips.aspx)