AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 20, 2011 – Though Mother Nature has not hit us with severe winter weather yet, as we enter the season, it is important to remember that snow and ice are one of the most prevalent causes of car accidents and fatalities, even for diligent drivers.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, from December 2010 through March 2011, 37,429 accidents occurred on ice, snow or slush on Ohio roadways, killing 46 people and injuring 7,844. More than three-fourths of these accidents were caused by speeding.
Summa Health System and Summit County Safe Communities remind drivers to prepare their vehicles for the winter season, know how to drive on slick roads and what to do if they become stuck in the snow.
“When driving in the snow and on ice, drive slowly and gently,” said Rebecca Wise, of Summa Health System, Summit County Safe Communities grant coordinator. “Make sure to also leave enough distance between cars and be mindful of bridges and overpasses that normally ice over before the roads.”
Though the best winter weather strategy is to stay at home when conditions are bad, if people have to venture out during a snow storm, the Ohio State Highway Patrol recommends the following tips to prepare vehicles for winter weather:
- Ensure the battery, cooling system, tires, wipers and defroster are all working properly.
Stow the following winter car kit items in the vehicle:
- Cell phone with car charger
- Road flares or reflectors
- Help or Call Police signs
- First aid kit
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Small shovel
- Bottled water and energy foods
- Candles and matches
- Tow strap or chain
- If a vehicle gets stuck in the snow, make sure the tail pipe is free of snow and debris to help limit the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.
There have been 34 traffic-related fatalities in Summit County this year. From January through December 2010, there were 29 traffic-related fatalities.
For more information, visit: http://www.ohio.gov/news/2011/12/.
About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.