DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Drivers following vehicles too close; this is the biggest cause of work zone crashes in the state and WDTN.com’s list of work zone areas with the most crashes, according to Matt Bruning, Press Secretary for the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Bruning said drivers need to give themselves more distance in work zones because the driving environment changes. Lanes often change, sometimes the driving pattern of the roadway has changed, and if something falls from a truck, or if another vehicle strikes an object and knocks it into your lane, you will need more time to react.
“I think the general rule of thumb is one car length for every 10 mph you’re driving,” Bruning said. “That may seem like a lot, and you’ll probably have someone jump into that space ahead of you, but at least give yourself enough space to react.”
Work zones are a major conern of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Lt. Craig Cvetan, Public Affairs Commander for the State Patrol, said over the years they’ve dedicated more troopers to watch construction areas.
“We see entirely too many crashes occurring in work zones,” Cvetan told WDTN.com. “In most cases these crashes are completely preventable.”
The information for this list was compiled using the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s OSTATS tool on its website. This list included only crashes from Jan. 1, 2018 to Aug. 24, 2020.
1. I-70 Clark County at U.S. 68: 124 crashes
Like other work zones on the list, I-70 through Clark County near the U.S. 68 exit has a high amount of traffic with commuters from Columbus, Springfield and Dayton regularly using the highway. Bruning said an average of 60,000 vehicles travel through the area daily. Construction in the area has taken years as efforts are made to make I-70 six lanes from Springfield to Columbus.
2. I-75 south of Piqua and north of Troy: 56 crashes
The area has been under heavy construction for several years, while the highway has been widened from four to six lanes. The roadway has also gone through several pattern changes, including work to widen a bridge. According to Bruning, 52,000 vehicles travel the roadway on average per day.
3. I-675 south of US 35 in Greene County: 16 crashes
This area had the most work zone crashes of any in Greene County. It’s location – close to Fairfield Commons Mall, Beavercreek, the Air Force Museum and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base – means it has a high amount of traffic during most of the day.
4. I-75 through Vandalia: 13 crashes
Vandalia is just north of the I-75 and I-70 interchange, one of the key highway interchanges in the country. The interchange mirrors the “Crossroads of America”, the intersection of US 40 and the Dixie Highway in Vandalia. With construction so close to this high traffic area, crash numbers tend to be higher.
5. I-70 near Clayton: 11 crashes
Like I-70 in Clark County, the highway has been under a project for several years. It is high traffic because of several large suburbs in the area like Englewood, Clayton and Trotwood.
6. Ohio 741 near the Dayton Mall and Ohio 725: 11 crashes
The intersection of Ohio 741 and 725 (Springboro Pike and Miamisburg-Centerville Road) is one of the busiest in the area because of its location near the Dayton Mall.
7. I-75 north of Austin Landing and south of I-675: 10 crashes
With both commercial and residential growth off Austin Boulevard, traffic has increased in this area just north of the Warren County border.
8. U.S. 35 at Smithville Road: 7 crashes
According to ODOT, it will soon start a project to replace the flyover ramp at the Smithville Road exit and will be doing roadwork through the area into Greene County.
9. Shoup Mill/Turner Road in Northwest Dayton: 6 crashes
Shoup Mill/Turner Road had the most work zone crashes of any streets in Dayton, with six in the work zone area right where it turns from Turner Road to Shoup Mill. The road changes names six times. It starts as Turner Road at Ohio 49, just west of John Wolfe Park and Salem Avenue. At the Ohio 48/Main Street intersection it changes to Shoup Mill Road, and then changes to Needmore Road by Pilaczyk Center and Caro Child Care. It remains Needmore until it passes I-75 and into East Dayton where at the Brandt Pike intersecton it becomes Harshman Road and then changes to Woodman Drive south of the Airway Road intersection. Woodman ends at the intersection with Wilmington Pike.
10. Lyons Road near Ohio 741: 6 crashes
Lyons Road at Ohio 741 in Miami Twp. is on the south side of the Dayton Mall and just north of many residential neighborhoods.
For more information on work zone crashes, visit the Ohio State Highway Patrol website.