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Motorists running stop signs and failing to yield the right of way to other traffic on the road are causing too many crashes, state law enforcement officials say.
Failure-to-yield violations were the second-highest cause of fatal crashes throughout Ohio in 2012, according to statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP). Locally, a motorist’s failure to yield the right of way led to one of Auglaize County’s six fatalities in 2012. The mishap occurred at the intersection of Ohio 117 and Fairmount Road.
Motorists failing to yield caused more than 30,000 crashes throughout the year in Ohio
Of the 37,475 Ohio crashes caused by failure to yield in 2012, 187 people were killed and 23,353 injured.
Wapakoneta Post troopers issued 181 failure to yield citations last year, according to OSHP statistics.
It is one of the highest numbers among bordering counties, second behind Allen County with 225 failure to yield citations. Other neighboring counties’ failure to yield citations were Van Wert with 180, Logan with 105, Shelby with 51, Hardin with 45, and Mercer with 33.
Wapakoneta Post Sgt. Brian Jordan said motorists’ failure to yield led to 29 injury crashes in Auglaize County in 2012. Failure to yield citations were issued in 54 crashes.
To date in 2013, failure to yield has been cited as the cause in six crashes, three of which resulted in injuries.
Locally, the largest number of failure to yield citations are issued to drivers on U.S. 33, followed by Ohio 66.
Jordan said on U.S. 33 motorists are pulling onto the highway from side roads and because the road is divided they have to stop in the middle and look again.
“It requires more attention,” Jordan said.
Problems on 66 also stem from motorists pulling out from side roads, Jordan said, noting that the section south of St. Marys is particularly troublesome.
Jordan said failure to yield citations may be issued for stop sign and traffic light violations, when pulling from a private drive, when turning left, or for failure to follow the right of way or precautions of a yield sign.
“If you interrupt the flow of traffic, you can be cited for failure to yield,” Jordan said. “It happens a lot when someone merges without yielding to the person already established in the lane.”
Jordan advised motorists to avoid failure to yield crashes by looking before they proceed and if they are interrupting the flow of traffic, they should make sure they have plenty of time.
Following statewide statistics, locally, a large number of young drivers, ages 16 to 25, are at fault in failure to yield crashes, Jordan said, explaining that a lack of experience may be to blame.
The rate of failure to yield crashes among young drivers is almost twice as high statewide as those ages 26- to 35-years-old. Older age groups caused even fewer crashes from failure to yield.
“They need to take time to look both ways and they need to know the capabilities of their vehicle — it’s get up and go — if they are going to pull out,” Jordan said.
Statewide, male drivers were the recipients of 61 percent of failure to yield citations. Twenty-four percent of the citations were issued as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Fifty-five percent of the drivers cited in these crashes were men and half of all failure to yield violations occurred between noon and 6 p.m.
OSHP spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston said they are urging all motorists to take their time, ensure that cross traffic is stopped or clear, and obey all traffic signs and signals.
“Drivers are urged to pay close attention to stop signs and signals when traversing Ohio’s roadways,” OSHP Superintendent Col. John Born said. “They need to ensure the intersection is clear before entering it.”
Ralston advised that motorists can avoid failure to yield crashes by slowing down and taking their time, looking both ways before entering an intersection, signaling at every turn and lane change, making a complete stop at stop lights and stop signs, and yielding to other drivers and being courteous.