Ohio Ranked in Top Five for Fatal Car-Truck Crashes; MFCA, Nationwide Partner on Safety

April 29, 2005

The Motor Freight Carriers Association (MFCA) and Nationwide Insurance have joined forces to kick off a new Smart Driver campaign to improve safety on Ohio’s highways and reduce highway accidents.

As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) “Share the Road Safely” program, MFCA is underscoring the DOT’s effort on the state level in order to improve the safety knowledge of all motorists, to minimize the likelihood of a crash with a large truck, and to reduce the consequences of those that do occur.

Joining MFCA and Nationwide in their drive to improve highway safety was Director Ken Morckel of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Larry Davis, president of the Ohio Trucking Association, Keith Willoughby, state manager for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and Mark Spencer a professional truck driver with Roadway Express.

Ohio ranks in the top five throughout the U.S. in fatal multiple-vehicle crashes involving trucks. Among all the fatal accidents involving cars and trucks throughout the state of Ohio, the contributing factors in these accidents most often fall on car drivers.

“Education is one of our best weapons in the fight against highway accidents and fatalities,” said Timothy Lynch, president and CEO of the Motor Freight Carriers Association. “By teaming with Nationwide Insurance, we are able to reach motorists across the state and educate them so they become Smart Drivers,” added Lynch.

Nationwide Insurance will distribute highway safety brochures to the motorists that they insure at various Nationwide Claim Centers throughout the state. In addition, a number of motorists will receive a Smart Driver brochure when they receive their regular billing statement.

“The safety of our drivers is paramount to our business,” said Tim Hoyt, Nationwide’s vice president of Safety. “Supporting the MFCA efforts in our home base of Ohio is an important exercise in educating our customers and providing them with the best information to help them be as safe as possible on the road.”

Using a Roadway Express tractor-trailer for a hands-on demonstration, professional truck drivers showed the dangers of driving in the “NO-ZONE,” the blind-spot areas around trucks where crashes are more likely to occur. The drivers also highlighted basic safety tips such as avoiding tailgating, buckling up, being aware of highway shoulders and always wearing a safety belt.

“As summer travel plans increase traffic congestion during the summer vacation season, our roadways become even more dangerous and unpredictable than they already are,” said Lynch. “By sharing highway safety tips with the public, we hope all motorists and their families get to their destinations safely and enjoy the summer,” added Lynch.

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