DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– ODOT says they are spending millions of dollars in safety programs to increase driver safety across the state. They say funding new safety initiatives will make Ohio’s roads even safer after recording that 2020 was one of the deadliest years for the state, but even more drivers died on the roads in 2021.

“Obviously we’re going in the wrong direction, that is not the way we want to go,” said ODOT Press Secretary Matt Bruning.

2020 was deadliest in over a decade, 2021 was 10-percent higher at 1230 ppl die in 2020, 1361 in 2021

In 2020, 1,230 people died on Ohio’s roads which was reported as the deadliest year in a decade for the Buckeye State. However, 2021 surpassed that record after reporting that 1,361 drivers had died. Bruning says most of those fatal crashes occurred at intersections, but seeing a 10-percent increase in deaths was unsettling.

“Unfortunately a lot of this goes back to driver behavior,” said Bruning. “It’s people who are driving too fast, not buckled up, impaired or distracted.”

ODOT says Ohio has one of the best road safety programs in the nation and is pushing limits even further. They are investing $450-million in safety projects by 2025.

“The project ideas include things like roundabouts, traffic signals, additional striping or signage, any range of things.”

With millions of dollars funneling into Ohio’s roads, the hopes are to decrease the amount of fatal accidents. However, ODOT says driver behavior needs to change first.

“The partnership we need is the drivers themselves,” said Bruning”

With snow on the ground here in the Miami Valley, they encourage drivers to slow down and allow extra time in your morning commute.