Ohio DOT Crash Rate Drops in 2023

Jan. 9, 2024
ODOT cites distracted-driving laws and officers issuing tickets as causes for the drop-off.

The number of crashes involving Ohio Department of Transportation vehicles last year was down more than 50% to what was recorded in 2022 and one-third of what was recorded in 2021, according to ODOT. In 2023, 56 ODOT vehicles were in crashes, down from 135 in 2022 and 154 in 2021.

The department cited recent distracted-driving laws and officers issuing tickets to people using their phones as possible reasons for the decline. 

Despite being encouraged by the numbers, the department says it wants to keep the number at zero in 2024.

According to a report in the Dayton Daily News, in March last year Ohio drivers were distracted for an average of one minute, 39 seconds, citing Cambridge Mobile Telematics, which tracks distracted driving using GPS data. In the 30 days after the distracted driving law took effect, distraction fell by 8% to one minute, 31 seconds, and has remained in that range up through September 2022, when data was last collected.

Read also: FHWA Report Makes Recommendations to Contractors on Safety in Work Zones

In that time period, the firm estimates the law prevented 2,200 crashes, saved six lives, and prevented over $54 million in damage.

Aside from recent distracted driving laws, Ohio’s “move over, slow down” laws might have also contributed to the decline. The laws require motorists to cautiously move over for stopped vehicles and road crews. 

About the Author

Harlee Hewitt

Harlee is associate editor for Construction Equipment. She has a Bachelor's in English with a focus on technical writing.