Fatal Crashes Spike in Delaware


Delaware– The Delaware State Police have seen a recent spike in fatal crashes across the entire state.  In conjunction with the Delaware Office of Highways Safety, we are working together to provide our citizens with a few traffic safety reminders.

The majority of fatal crashes are attributed to some form of distracted driving.  This involves the driver failing to provide the proper time and attention to the roadway and to the task of driving.  Other high-risk behaviors of motorists include impaired driving, speeding, unsafe driving behaviors including the use of electronic devices and the failure of motorists and passengers alike to wear seat belts.

Traffic Safety Tips:

Limit distractionsUsing your cell phone, texting, and fiddling with the radio or GPS should all be done when you are at a complete stop or avoided altogether.  Give 100% of your attention to the road.

Walk Smart: Distracted walking, wearing dark clothing, and walking under the influence are common factors in pedestrian crashes in Delaware. Wear bright clothing, carry a flashlight, keep your head up and keep your eyes on the road and surrounding areas. Catch a cab or rideshare lift, or have a designated driver take you home. Walking under impairment is never worth the risk.

Slow Down:  Reducing speeds and/or maintaining safer speeds.  Avoid the fast lane if possible.  If you are in the center or far-right lanes, you are more able to maneuver away from a potentially dangerous situation than if you are in the fast lane.

Be AttentiveNever just assume that a driver is going to stop or turn. It’s better to assume they may not!  For example, when going through a red light, still look both ways to check if anyone is going to run the light.  Not only do drunk drivers often run red lights, but so do distracted drivers.

Driving Under the Influence: Whether it be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, impaired driving is a crime.  Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys. If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.

Wear Your Seatbelt: One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. Understand the potentially fatal consequences of not wearing a seat belt and learn what you can do to make sure you and your family are properly buckled up every time.

“The Office of Highway Safety is currently running our pedestrian, occupant protection, and distracted driving campaigns and enforcements in every county. We want the public to be aware of actions they can take to protect themselves on Delaware roadways. October is Pedestrian Safety Month. Please walk bright and walk smartly by wearing bright clothes, carrying a flashlight, and being aware when crossing Delaware’s busy roads,” Cynthia Cavett, Marketing Specialist II and Public Information Officer, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.







For more information, please visit ohs.delaware.gov, or visit us on Facebook (@HighwaysafetyDE), Twitter (@HighwaysafetyDE) and Instagram (HighwaysafetyDE).


Cynthia Cavett, Marketing Specialist II & Public Information Officer
Delaware Office of Highway Safety

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.

You Are Not Invincible

Crossing the Line video released for Teen Driver Safety Week

Dover- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the US. During Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct 19-25), the Delaware Teen Driver Task Force released a video titled “Crossing the Line”. The video tells the story of a 2012 fatal crash involving 17 year-old Andre Smith who was a passenger in a speeding vehicle driven by 19 year old driver Mar’Kese Marshall-Horsey. Andre Smith was killed in the crash on April 12, 2012 on Route 896 in Middletown.

Andre Smith was a high school senior and star football player at Appoquinimink High School and was to graduate June 13th, 2012. Unfortunately Andre did not make it to graduation day. After spending the day with friends and on the way home, Andre was riding in the passenger seat when the driver was speeding and lost control of his SUV, swearing into oncoming traffic. The passenger side was struck by another large vehicle, killing Andre instantly.

Speed was one of the contributing factors in this fatal incident said Sean Lugg, Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice. “If it wasn’t for the speed, this collision would not have happened.”

Between 2011 and 2013, drivers aged 19 years and under were responsible for the most speed related injury crashes (22%) in Delaware.  Male drivers accounted for two-thirds (2/3) of those crashes. Kevin M. Bradley M.D., Associate Medical Director of Trauma at Christiana Care Health System, believes young folks are prone to crashes because there is a sense of invincibility and something bad won’t happen to them. “Speed is a factor in injury, because when traveling at a high rate of speed, you are more prone to get into a crash and following that crash you are more likely to have more severe injuries,” Dr. Bradley said.

Nineteen year old Mar’Kese Marshall-Horsey was the driver in Andre Smith’s fatal crash. He was charged with the reckless killing of his friend. “I lost everything; I lost everything and everybody,” said Marshall-Horsey. “One accident put everything out the window.”

The driver is currently serving a 5-year prison term at Howard Young Correctional Facility as a result of his actions that lead to the fatal crash.

“Crossing the Line” documents the consequences that many have suffered as a result of this tragic crash and will also become part of the revised Driver’s Education curriculum to be distributed to all drivers’ education teachers in the State of Delaware.

The video can be viewed and shared on the Office of Highway Safety Arrive Alive DE YouTube channel http://youtu.be/RLiFdKFOkpU.


Highway Safety Officials Urge Caution After Four Fatal Crashes Occur in One Weekend

Dover –Four fatal crashes occurred on Delaware roadways last weekend that claimed the lives of 5 individuals. The fatal crashes involved a motorcycle, scooter, and 2 motor vehicles.

A variety of factors were at work in the crashes according to State Police reports and all are still under investigation.  This brings the number of people killed on Delaware roads since January 1st to 28, compared to 20 at this time last year.

“As we head into summer we will see an increase in traffic with families traveling for vacations and holidays. We cannot stress enough how important it is to be cautious every moment you are behind the wheel,” said Jana Simpler, Director for the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS).  “Please slow down, take your time, limit your distractions, and never drive after drinking.”

The Office of Highway Safety has conducted several traffic safety enforcement and education campaigns this year and has planned additional enforcement and educational mobilizations that will target speeding, occupant protection, impaired driving, motorcycle, and pedestrian laws as follows;

Motorcycle mobilization;

April 21-May 2; June 23-28; July 7-12; August 4-9; September 11-15

Speed mobilization;

May 1-10; July 1-12; August 7-9; September 2-13

Pedestrian mobilization;

May 8-16; June 12-27; July 10-25; August 7-29; September 4-13

Seat belt mobilization;

May 12-26; June 6-19; July 18-31

Impaired driving mobilization;

May 23-26; July 18-August 2; July 25-August 2; August 15-September 1

The easiest way to reduce the risk of being involved in a crash is to practice safe driving behaviors.  No matter how long you have been driving, or if you just started to drive, here are some driving tips that will help you and your passengers to arrive alive.

Driving Tips

1)      Slow down- research by the European Road Safety Observatory has shown that for every mile per hour you drive, the likelihood of being in a crash increases by four to five percent. At higher speeds, the risk increases much more quickly.

2)      Never drive impaired- even 1 alcohol beverage can affect your motor skills and cause delayed reaction or blurred vision.

3)      Put the phone down- putting your attention to the cell phone call, text, tweet, or post behind the wheel can delay reaction times by as much as 20 percent.

4)      Always buckle up- when worn properly, seat belts can prevent you from being thrown around the inside of a crashing vehicle or, worse, thrown through the windshield or completely out of the vehicle.

5)      Don’t drive drowsy- just being a little drowsy is enough to increase your risk of being involved in a crash. Drowsy responses can range from dozing off for a few seconds at a time to simply “zoning out” and losing all focus on the road. At highway speeds, one or two seconds of inattention can lead to disaster.

For more information on any of the OHS campaigns visit www.ohs.delaware.gov and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe and Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.