Teen drivers remain one of Ohio’s most at-risk groups

OHIO VALLEY — Teen drivers continue to cause a disproportionate number of traffic crashes each year, according to statistics. National Teen Driving Safety Week, Oct. 18-24, is the perfect time for teens and their parents to discuss the dangers new drivers face so they can make safe and responsible decisions.

Young drivers who are 15-19 years old were involved in about 15 percent (128,349) of all traffic crashes from 2012-2014. Of those crashes, a teen driver was at-fault 73 percent of the time. These crashes resulted in 282 fatalities and 41,311 injuries.

While crash causes may vary, speed-related factors contributed to a majority (59 percent) of the crashes caused by teens. Another 20 percent of crashes were brought about by failure to yield, running a red light or running a stop sign.

“Teen drivers need to realize that poor decisions while driving now can stay with them for the rest of their lives,” Lt. Max Norris Gallia/Meigs post commander said. “That is why responsibility, awareness and safety are so important for our youngest drivers.”

While education and awareness are extremely important, the Patrol also aims to change driver behavior through traffic enforcement.

Teen drivers are encouraged to plan ahead when traveling 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.

For a statistical map regarding teen drivers and a county-by-county breakdown of where Patrol citations have been issued, please visit http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/TeenDrivers_Bulletin_2015.pdf.