More than half of wrong-way crash drivers in Ohio were DUI, Highway Patrol study shows
Anthony Mirones, Anthony.Mirones@wcpo.com
8:59 PM, Jul 11, 2013
CINCINNATI - A study on wrong-way crashes in Ohio, like the fatal collision on Interstate 71 Thursday, shows that more than half of wrong-way drivers were suspected of alcohol or drug impairment.
Police suspect alcohol or drugs in the crash that killed Chelsie Owens, 23, of Oxford. She was going the wrong way on I-71 when she hit three cars – one after another.
There have been three other wrong-way crashes since February.
According to an Ohio State Highway Patrol study, 60 wrong-way collisions between January 2011 and April 2013 resulted in 31 deaths.
Some notable findings in the report:
> The death rate in wrong-way collisions (37 percent) was more than 100 times higher than in all crashes on Ohio roadways (0.35 percent) during the reporting period. > 57 percent of wrong-way drivers were men. > Among age groups, 23 percent were from ages of 16-25, 21 percent were from 36-45 and 21 percent were over 65. > Nearly half had no traffic convictions during the three-year period before the crash. > When it came to male and female impaired driving, the genders were at 62 and 61 percent, respectively.
The time of day seems to be significant:
> Most wrong-way accidents happened between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. during dry conditions.
The study was designed to better understand driving behaviors and circumstances of wrong-way drivers.