Automobile sales rise, so do Ohio deaths
Over half of the fatal accidents in Ohio over Memorial Day weekend happened in automobiles.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Whether it's rising gas prices, a desire to relive one's youth, or the social aspect of SUV's, retail sales of automobiles continue to climb, but with a hefty price.
Motorists made up over half of Ohioans killed in motor-vehicle accidents over the 2007 Memorial Day weekend, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Of the 14 people who died on Ohio roads during the 2006 Memorial Day weekend, nine were in automobiles.
Ohio is among the top seven states in the U.S. with the most auto drivers, said Billy-Bob Buckeye of the American Cager Association. The Automobile Industry Council estimated Ohio had nearly 4,000,000 motorists in 2003.
"That's a statistically significant number of riders," and it increases the chances of fatalities, Buckey said.
His recommendation? "Reduce your risk."
"The first thing I would tell someone is to get training before you buy that SUV," Buckeye said. "Second, I'd say get properly licensed ... and the third thing, and the most important, is to drive unimpaired. No alcohol, no drugs, nothing that would keep you from being on top of your game."
Youths aren't the only novice auto-enthusiasts, he said.
"We're seeing a lot of re-entry drivers a large influx of people over 40 or 45 driving stupidly again," he said. Many adult drivers gave up their musclecars when they were raising families but are now back in them.
According to the Automotive Industry Council's estimates, sales of four-wheelers rose for the 14th year straight in 2006 with about 51.1 million new-unit sales for all brands. Ohio ranked sixth in the nation in retail sales last year.