COLUMBUS, OH (Toledo News Now) – Teen drivers remain one of Ohio's most at-risk groups when it comes to becoming involved in a traffic crash.
From 2009-2011, teen drivers were at fault in 114,737 traffic crashes, resulting in 50,492 injuries and 329 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 56 percent of crashes caused by teen drivers. 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 Col. John Born, State Highway Patrol superintendent. "That is why responsibility, awareness and safety are so important for our youngest drivers."
Teen drivers are less experienced and at times can make poor decisions. As a result, in August 2012, the OSHP 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 they are in control when behind the wheel.
While education and awareness are extremely important, the OSHP also aims to change driver behavior through traffic enforcement. From 2009-2011, 60 percent of the citations issued to teen drivers were for speed-related violations and 19 percent were for failure to wear a seatbelt.
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 seatbelts save lives and they should encourage everyone in their vehicle to buckle up every time.
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