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Distance a factor in Howland crash

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HOWLAND TWP., Ohio - A citation is issued in a chain reaction crash that sent eight victims to hospitals Thursday.

The State Highway Patrol says Adam Slater, 20, failed to stop at a red light at the intersection of State Route 82 and Howland-Wilson Road in Howland. Slater's truck struck one vehicle, triggering a reaction with three others.

The Howland intersection is described as a magnet for accidents involving drivers not maintaining assured clear distance.

The Warren Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol offers an easy equation to calculate how much space motorists need between them.

"Generally people need to leave at least one car length for every 10 miles that they're traveling, just to give themselves enough reaction time," Tim Grimm says, trooper with the Warren Post.

Getting caught driving too close to another vehicle could land a motorist a citation and a fine.

"It is illegal, it's a primary contributing factor to many crashes that occur in Ohio," Grimm says.

In 2012, Grimm says following too close was the main factor among 65,000 crashes in the state.

Distracted driving and not paying attention also makes the list of contributing factors.

The Howland-Wilson Road and Rt. 82 intersection has been the site of deadly crashes in the past.

Micahel Luparo, of Columbiana, died after he swerved his truck to miss a vehicle stopped at the intersection in 2006. The patrol reported that he failed to notice traffic was waiting at the light before it was too late.

Turning lanes were added to the intersection in 2003 following a 10 car pile-up that left one person dead.

Grimm says behind the wheel behavior, like impatient driving, is still the leading motive for tailing or driving too close to another vehicle.

"People don't have the patience that they need to pay attention to the car in front of them and get to the place where they're trying to go," he says.

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