The Greene County Safe Communities program reports that as of November 27, 2012, there have been a total of sixteen (16) traffic fatalities in Greene County. This compares with a total of eleven (11) traffic deaths for the entire year of 2011. Five of the sixteen fatalities were teenagers. Car crashes continue to be the number one cause of injury and death for U.S. teens 15-20 years of age, accounting for more than one in three fatalities for this age group (CDC, 2010).
The top five (5) causes for the majority of these crashes that have resulted in death and/or injury in Greene County are unsafe speeds, improper lane change/passing/off road, failure to control, following too closely, and distractions (i.e. cell phone use/texting). The Coalition reminds everyone to put down the phone, avoid all distractions, drive sober and obey all traffic signs and signals. Members of the Safe Communities coalition will continue to work with schools, businesses and the general public to provide educational materials and information to keep Greene County citizens safe on the roadways. The coalition also reminds parents to talk openly with their new teen drivers about rules for safe driving including the number of passengers allowed in the vehicle, the dangers of speeding and distractions. For every teenage passenger in a vehicle driven by a 16 – 17 year old, the chances for a teen driver fatality increase (AAA – Teen Driver Risk in Relation to Age and Number of Passengers).
The safety of our Greene County residents while they are traveling on the roads is our biggest concern. As we are now heading into the winter months, Safe Communities would like to remind all drivers – new and seasoned – to buckle up, park the phone and drive responsibly or secure a designated driver.
The Safe Communities program was developed to help communities decrease traffic injuries and deaths, increase safety awareness, decrease the amount of money spent on traffic-related injuries, and increase the number of people involved in keeping communities safe.
The next meeting of the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition is Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 9 a.m. at the Greene County Combined Health District in Xenia. The public is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Laurie Fox at 937-374-5669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.