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Highway Patrol Lieutenant Matt Boyd says this time last year, there were 969 confirmed traffic fatalities in Ohio. That number has dipped down to 823 so far in 2013. Lt. Boyd attributes the decrease to a number of things including educating young and older drivers, who make up the majority of traffic accidents, and an increased presence of troopers on the roadways.
"There's engineering on the roadways. Engineers look at problem areas and make changes to bridges and structures," said Lt. Boyd. "The landscape of the roadways, safer vehicles; vehicles that are put together better and have more and better safety equipment."
Here in Muskingum County, 13 people died as a result of traffic accidents in 2012, according to Boyd. He says that number has been nearly cut in half for 2013. Of the accidents that occurred this year in Muskingum County, three involved motorcycles and one was an ATV accident. He says of those four, two were not wearing helmets. The rest involved motor vehicles, where the drivers were not wearing seatbelts, according to Boyd.
"Safety equipment almost always reduces the amount of injury. And all three of the people killed that were not wearing seatbelts very likely their injuries would have been minimized or they would have been alive if they had seatbelts on because they were all ejected from the vehicles."
Boyd says holiday's like Thanksgiving and Christmas are a peak time for fatal accidents because more people on the roadways rushing to see their family, the weather gets worse and it gets darker outside.