CLEVELAND — Northeast Ohio highway danger is a growing issue according to Cleveland's North Coast Emergency Services.
North Coast provides roadside assistance to motorists and first responders in the event of a crash or other types of highway emergencies.
Chris Haire, the owner of North Coast, said his safety team is on record pace to service more than 600 highway accidents in 2019.
Haire believes impaired and distracted drivers are a principal reason in generating local highway danger.
“Drivers are on their cellphones, their tablets while they’re driving, putting make-up on,” Haire said. “You shouldn’t be able to watch TV, or your favorite shows, or play your games while you're driving. I don’t care if you’re sitting in traffic and you’re only moving two to four miles-an-hour.”
North Coast team member Tom Thorpe said the company had to purchase additional safety response vehicles to handle a growing number of local highway crashes.
“It’s usually more than we can handle, one right after the other,” Thorpe said. “People driving too fast for road conditions, not paying attention to their surroundings, not moving over for emergency vehicles or road workers."
According to a study just published by Car Insurance Companies, which compiled 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Data, you're about 18 percent more likely to get in a crash in Cleveland, compared to the national average.
Cleveland was found to be the eighth most dangerous city in the U.S., while at the same time overall crashes across the nation are declining.
Haire believes it's up to Northeast Ohio drivers to change those sobering statistics. He said motorists must give their complete attention to the road because too many drivers and first responders are losing their lives on our highways.
“Too many policemen, fire fighters, EMT’s, construction workers are killed because people don’t pay attention to what they’re doing,” Haire said. “If I was an automaker I would try to come up with a way to disable your phone when you're driving.”