A $42,000 grant from the state of Ohio to Delaware County will be used to educate residents about drunken driving, distracted driving and other behaviors than can lead to traffic fatalities.

A $42,000 grant from the state of Ohio to Delaware County will be used to educate residents about drunken driving, distracted driving and other behaviors than can lead to traffic fatalities.

The Delaware General Health District announced last week it received a Safe Communities grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. The grant funding largely will go toward the funding of a Safe Communities coordinator position at the health district, along with events and promotional materials to encourage safe driving.

"A lot of what we do with the Safe Communities grant is kind of the education arm of bringing down these (fatal crashes)," said Jackie Bain, Safe Communities coordinator for the health district.

Bain said she digs into crash statistics, with help from local law-enforcement agencies and the Ohio Department of Transportation, to determine what programming would be beneficial to the county.

Between 2010 and the end of 2013, 53 people died in traffic crashes in Delaware County. Four of those killed were teenagers, leading the health district to partner with law-enforcement agencies to create driver-safety programs and interactive displays that traveled among county high schools.

No teens have been killed in traffic crashes in Delaware County in 2014.

"These kinds of efforts, especially with young people, make an impact," she said.

Statistics show 18 people killed in Delaware County crashes between 2010-13 were 60 or older.

Bain said this has led the health district, Ohio State Highway Patrol and others to begin collaborating on more programming for senior citizens.

"We're looking for trends all the time," Bain said.

Delaware County statistics also reveal that driving impaired and eschewing a seat belt are common factors in fatal crashes.

Of the 53 people who died in car crashes in the county between 2010-13, 18 (34 percent) were not wearing a seat belt and 17 (32 percent) were involved in a drug- or alcohol-related crash.