News 11 Investigation: Collision Course - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

News 11 Investigation: Collision Course

By Tim Miller - bio | email 

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTOL) - A WTOL Investigation has found where the most dangerous accidents are taking place in Northwest Ohio. Avoiding a possible collision course is possible, even with the growing number of distractions drivers face.

A possibly distracted driver started a four-car pileup on I-475 at Airport Highway. It’s a type of accident could likely happen to anyone.

WTOL-News 11 obtained 2008 crash reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The report shows locations that had the highest number of accidents:

• I-75 and I-475 in central Toledo was the top intersection with 67 crashes.

• I-475 at Airport Highway had 66 accidents, including a four-car pileup.

• And 48 crashes took place on I-75 and Route 20 in Wood County.

Lt. John Altman, Commander of the Toledo post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says cell phones and texting are the two major reasons for crashes.

“And I think what happens more than anything else is drivers are just not paying attention, they're not being aware of what's going on,” said Altman.

Motorist Donnie Thompson says distracted drivers cannot concentrate while answering the phone. So you need to become a better defensive driver to make sure you stay safe.

When traffic’s heavy, look ahead four or five car lengths and don't forget to check on both sides of the vehicle.

When stopped in traffic, drivers should be far enough behind the car in front, to see both of the car’s rear tires completely on the ground. If hit from behind, have enough space to avoid hitting the car in front.

To further demonstrate what happens if folks don't drive defensively, Patrick Carlisle, a training manager at Master & Sylvania Driving School, gave WTOL’s Tim Miller a ride.

Cones on a driving course represent a stopped car as Carlisle shows one of the most common driver distractions.

“And the light turns red and I’m down here putting a CD in or adjusting my heat, and I come up here and at the last second, I look oh god, and then you almost hit the car,” said Carlisle.

He also demonstrates what happens when a phone call distracts a driver. There isn’t a lot of time to use brakes. Miller and Carlisle were only driving 10 to 15 mph.

“Take it seriously; think about what you're doing. And realize you're driving around in a 5,000 to 6,000 pound weapon.


ODOT's List of 2008 Fatal Crash Locations (PDF)

ODOT's List of 2008 High Frequency Crash Locations (PDF)


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