Sergeant: Lessons to be Learned in I-90 Accidents

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LAKE COUNTY, OH -- A busy stretch of highway in Lake County proved to be dangerous after several multiple-vehicle accidents there this week.

The first of two accidents happened on I-90 Eastbound near Vrooman Road around
8 p.m. Friday night.

Sgt. Troy Sexton with the State Highway Patrol said traffic was stopped while the first crash involving a semi and pickup truck was being cleared.

Shortly afterwards, there was another pile-up involving five vehicles.

“There were two personal vehicles and three commercial vehicles -- one boxed truck and two semi-trucks.  There are serious injuries, nothing life threatening," Sgt. Sexton said.

Friday's accidents happened on the same stretch of I-90 as the 25-car pile-up Christmas Eve.

Many of the wrecked vehicles in the I-90 crashes this week have ended up at King's Towing in Painesville. Manager Terry King said from the wreckage, he believes drivers need to be more cautious and alert.

"You have to take into effect weather conditions; how slippery the road is, how close you're following somebody. There's not time to answer your cell phone, send a text message, anything of that nature. If you do, the minute you look up, it's going to be too late," King added.

While drivers would like to blame the weather for the Christmas Eve pile-up,
Sgt. Sexton said that was not the case with the accidents Friday night.

“I would have to say that people were traveling too close or at unsafe speeds."

Sgt. Sexton said a good rule for motorists is to have one car length for every 10 miles per hour they’re traveling.  So, if going 60 miles per hour, drivers should be six car lengths away from the vehicle ahead.

Sgt. Sexton said looking at the wreckage from this week’s accidents on I-90 prove there are lessons to be learned.

His advice: "For God sakes, slow down. It can happen so quickly. Keep a safe distance. Stay at the speed limit and just be careful."

Click here for continuing coverage on this story.


    • Steve

      Drivers Ed used to teach this and a whole lot more. Sure, I’ve probably forgotten a lot of it, and don’t exercise all of it anymore… it’s easy to get complacent.
      But as we said in the military, “complacency kills”.

      Add to it a lot of drivers act like it’s “all about them”. They (think they) are in control, that nothing can go wrong since they are controlling it. That conceited, entitled attitude (gee, “affluenza on wheels?) ends up biting them bad when the other guy has an issue or screws up.

  • Tony

    People get what they deserve.
    Most drivers are always 5 feet off the bumper of the guy in front of them, and at 70 MPH that is extra dangerous.
    The OHP needs to start citing people who tailgate and who refuse to use their signal to indicate a lane change.
    I think the state should use the traffic warning display signs on the highways to show the warning:

    Failure to signal a lane change – Fine $xxx.xx
    Unassured clear distance – Fine $xxx.xx

    Then start issuing tickets.

  • Rose

    There are lots of inattentive drivers. I can see blaming drivers for accidents (in different areas) but why are these accidents continuously happening in this specific stretch of the interstate? Makes me think it is NOT JUST THE DRIVERS but other conspicuous factors.

    • Steve

      it does feel like the Indy 500 through there. It’s as if the slightly lower speed limit is ruining their day. They fail to realize (well, it’s just being ignorant) that dropping their speed 10 mph for 15 minutes costs them a whole 2.5 minutes extra travel time. It costs them nothing, and saves them nothing… but for some odd reason they think riding my rear bumper will make me go faster.


      But it will make me closer for them to react to and end up hitting.

  • glad everyones ok

    So sexton has completely taken the focus off the fact that’s a hard area to drive in anytime. Walls and cones set up with no apparent rules. Way way to close for large vehicels. No berm to pull off on. No lights. Well from this article it appears that all drivers involved had a “group moment” to all speed and text simultaneously but thankfully they waited for a snow storm to do it. Because that whole consturction mess there certainly had nothing what’s so ever to do with it. Must be sheer coincidence there are so many accidents in that area. Or we could be developing a ” route 90 triangle”. Either way the real lesson is obvious ya slow down. Quit texting and driving. Are you stupid? But also remember there is no way a state trooper is going to bad mouth a state paid for road project. Its a p.r. thing

  • Pete

    one car length for every 10 mph is good in perfect conditions (daylight, low traffic volume, not a construction zone, no snow, etc). Now, make it a narrowed road due to (everlasting) construction, dark, slippery, snowing, heavy traffic, etc… and it should be increased. Problem here is someone will probably pull in front of you, so now you have to fall back.

    FACT/Did you know: At 60 mph you are traveling 88 feet per SECOND. Typically reaction time (which is, from when you see it, your brain processes and decides on what to do, then your extremities do it, such as brake or swerve) is a half second – if you’re not distracted with the phone, weather, lack of or loss of visibility, etc. So you eat up 44 feet just reacting. If that car “vehicle length for every 10 mph” is followed, and if the car ahead of you comes to a crashing stop (bounced off a guard rail, rams a stopped vehicle, etc), you will be very close to hitting it before you even hit the brakes.

    I don’t have my chart handy that lists those facts (of 60mph=88fps, reaction time =44fps), but it went on to show how many feet it took to stop. When you double speed, it quadruples stopping distance. Besides, the stopping distances were for motorcycles, which weight significantly less so stop in slightly shorter distances.

    Pray the guy ahead of you is in a controlled stop. Their distances will be more or less what yours is. But if they come to a sudden or short stop (due to an impact, then say spinning or crossing lanes, no longer going straight), you will hit them.

    I wish they’d enforce the “wipers on means headlights on” law. Plus I wish people could see how much their vehicle disappears at twilight (roughly 30 min before sunset, 30 after sunrise). If they did, they’d turn their headlights on a lot sooner.

    If you have a hard time seeing a car coming at you til the last few seconds, even on an overcast or dark day, it should tell you – YOU need your lights on too!

    Last, those automatic daytime running lights let (insert word her) drivers forget to turn on their lights – if they don’t, their taillights never come on.

  • check it out

    Take a close look at photo with this article. See the wall? See they edge line on road? Now ask yourself how much room does that truck driver have to manuver that huge vehicle. bad construction areas don’t create accidents they just make it impossible to get away from them. This isn’t rocket science. I’m for ticketing the irresponsible jerks who set up walls and cones this way. Then we should go talk to the people who let them get away with this and ask if they have ever drove threw here to see first hand what we are talking about.

  • John

    That stretch is just horrible. Why are the barriers still there, oh yeah, they poured concrete in December and can’t finish the section until they paint it. They think they are going to get 3-10 days of dry 40+ degree weather in NE Ohio during this season? Someone needs a head check.

  • Chris

    To the person saying they should issue tickets for people tailgaiting. They should also issue ticket to those BLOCKING THE LEFT LANE!!!

  • Rick Adams

    To many people and not enough space.

    There are people on the road that has no business walking let alone driving.

    I don’t care what speed you have you are always going to have that one that will cause problems i don’t care what you do..

    I seen a guy in the passing lane going 50mph in a 55mph and no faster and was laughing as people went by like it was a joke and this was on a dry warm day and we wonder why we have road rage and speeding.

    Maybe there should be a freeway build base on qualification and. experience.

    Not everyone can drive Nascar.

    Bring back or build subways or trains like Japan then maybe that’s not a good a idea either to much crime.

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