TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's easy to overlook the digital message boards on the freeway while driving because they're usually about travel times, upcoming road construction or if there's a crash ahead. However starting this weekend, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will put up messages that are all about safety and awareness.
"Unfortunately 19 people died last year in Ohio after being involved in some type of crash or had some car trouble and got out of their vehicle and were struck and killed," said Matt Bruning, the Press Secretary for ODOT.
It's something that's happening all too often in Ohio, and it's a problem that ODOT is hoping these message boards will help fix.
Sebastian Guerrero, a 21-year old member of the 180th fighter wing since 2013, was a victim of an accident of this nature. Guerrero was hit and killed while changing his tire.
Theresa Kehrer who works at at Piasecki's Auto Service said it's not an uncommon thing for people to get out of the car right away after a fender bender. However getting out the car immediately after the minor accident is the most dangerous situation a driver can place their self in. Even for a tow truck driver.
"Even with a tow truck on scene, and they're hooking up to a vehicle there's been so many distracted drivers that have hit a tow truck driver, or has hit the tow truck or has hit the vehicle," said Kehrer.
One of which was almost her husband, who last year was almost hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel.
"If he would've been outside that tow truck, he probably would not be here today."
There will 131 boards with safety messages up throughout Ohio.
The minimal effort to prevent a tragic incident from happening is worth it and makes all the difference. Drivers can actually call ODOT directly to have them send a truck out to wait with drivers until a tow truck arrives.