LIMA — The number of fatal crashes in Allen County once again dropped in 2019.
The Allen County Fatal Crash Summary Report revealed that in 2019, there were seven fatal crashes and nine related fatalities for 2019.
That is down from nine fatal crashes in 2018, 11 in 2017 and 2016’s spike at 14 fatal crashes.
Allen County Coroner Dr. John Meyer, who presented the report at the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission Friday morning, credits that steady decline to better policing and education.
“I think with the help of law enforcement, we’re cracking down on things,” Meyer said. “We brought up the fact that it’s tough, a lot of the times they don’t have all the resources to do as much policing. Certainly our Ohio State people have helped out a lot, as definitely does awareness and keeping it out there. People are making better choices.”
Jon Payer, sergeant with the Lima Ohio State Highway Patrol, said the increase in technology has been a contributing factor in doing so.
“I think definitely technology plays a part in providing us with the tools to go out in these areas that historically have been problematic,” he said. “I think that the technology aspect — improvement in vehicles, safety features and things of that nature — have been improved. Technology allows us to kind of get that 10,000-foot view and look, see where we need to apply the resources and go in and kind of attack that area that’s a problem and move on to the next one.”
Of the seven fatal crashes last year, all occurred on dry pavement and in clear or cloudy weather conditions. Seventy-one percent of those occurred during daylight hours.
“I don’t know that it is actually a trend (that drivers are being more careful in wet conditions), I think it just kind of happened,” Meyer said. “People tend to go a little faster when it’s nice.”
Payer also suggested that a higher traffic volume during dry, daylight conditions could also be a factor as 42.9% of the seven fatal crashes were a result of following too close or assured clear distance ahead. Drug or alcohol impairment was a factor in 28.6% of the crashes per the report.
Both Payer and Meyer agreed that continued cooperation between all law enforcement agencies and the Lima-Allen County Safe Community Coalition is the key to continuing the trend in decreasing fatal crashes.
“When you put all those resources together and take that general overview of what can we do to make an impact on that, it’s this kind of stuff that’s allowing us to make some positive gains,” Payer said.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.