Motorists have been warned. Now it’s time to pay attention.
A crackdown on Interstate 75 through Lima is seeing the Ohio State Patrol targeting drivers who don’t leave enough space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. That stretch of road between state Route 81 and the Auglaize County line is a traveler’s nightmare with the heavy construction currently underway. Add to that the busier traffic during the summer along with impatient motorists and you have a recipe for disaster.
Since the beginning of March there have been 13 accidents in the construction zone. Speeding and traveling too closely have been the two leading causes of the crashes, said Rhonda Pees of the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Motorists should give themselves a car length for every 10 mph they are driving. At 55 mph, a vehicle is traveling at 80 feet per second. The typical reaction time for an average person is about three quarters of a second to recognize something is taking place in front of them. It then takes another three-fourths of a second to react. During that 1.5 seconds, a vehicle has traveled 120 feet.
“Everybody’s in such a hurry, they tend to get a little too close to people,” said Sgt. Tim Grigsby of the Lima Post of the Ohio State Patrol. “If somebody were to brake suddenly for whatever factor, they’d need to make sure that they’d have enough space between vehicles that they can come to a stop, especially if you can’t see in front of you.”
Summer accentuates the problem of tailgating, but the truth is that it is an ongoing problem. Last year Allen County saw 699 crashes because of tailgating. More than 200 of those crashes resulted in injuries.
Keep that in mind when you hit the road this summer.