Drugged driving crashes becoming more common in Ohio

CINCINNATI -- Anyone driving in Ohio Friday may have noticed the interstate signs talking about the number of drugged driving crashes so far this year.

There have been at least 3,574 drugged driving crashes in Ohio so far this year.

But the numbers don't always tell how alarming and dangerous an encounter with a drugged driver can be.

Sam Haynes was hailed as a hero for getting a drugged driver off the road. A video of his efforts to stop the driver was seen around the country.

"That day changed my life," Haynes said. "It was crazy. I still can't believe how everything panned out."

But a year later, the problem of drugged driving has only grown. Drugged driving crashes are up 25 percent across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

So how can drivers protect themselves? AAA driving instructor Mike Belcuore said one of the biggest things is pay attention.

"It's more important now than ever to put things way and focus on drivers so you can catch the behavior of other drivers," he said.

And unlike with most alcohol-related crashes, drugged driving crashes aren't mostly at night.

"It's a totally different ballgame with the drugged drivers," Belcuore said. "They're on the road now. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. is kind of the heroin rush hour."

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