Teen drivers still at-risk in Ohio

Staff Report

October 8, 2013

OHIO VALLEY — Teen drivers remain one of Ohio’s most at risk groups when it comes to becoming involved in a traffic crash. From 2010-2012, teen drivers were at fault in 100,871 traffic crashes, resulting in 44,458 injuries and 299 deaths on Ohio’s roadways. Teen drivers were at fault in 10 percent of all fatal crashes during the same time period.

While crash causes may vary, speed-related circumstances accounted for 57 percent of crashes caused by teen drivers. That is why it is important for teen drivers and their parents to be aware of the dangers new drivers face and for these new drivers to make safe and responsible decisions while driving.

“No one else is in control of the vehicle except for the person behind the wheel,” said Lt. Max Norris, commander of the Gallia/Meigs Post. “That is why responsibility, awareness and safety are so important for our youngest drivers.”

Teen drivers are inexperienced and at times can make poor decisions. As a result, in August 2012, the Patrol partnered with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to launch a program to educate Ohio high school students and student-athletes about the dangers new-drivers face. The You Are In Control program emphasizes the importance of decision making and reminds students that they are in control when behind the wheel.

While education and awareness are extremely important, the Patrol also aims to change driver behavior through traffic enforcement. From 2010-2012, 62 percent of the citations issued to teen drivers were for speed-related violations and 18 percent were for failure to wear a safety belt.

Teen drivers are encouraged to plan ahead when traveling to or from school or school events in order to eliminate rushing from one location to another. They are also reminded that safety belts save lives and they should encourage everyone in their vehicle to buckle-up, every time.