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

MARYSVILLE — Teen drivers remain one of Ohio’s most at-risk groups relating to being involved in a traffic crash, according to statistics released this week by troopers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Raines

LT. RON RAINES

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 more than half, or 56 percent, of crashes caused by teen drivers. That is why it’s 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. Ron Raines, commander of the Marysville 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, the patrol partnered with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to launch the “You Are In Control” program to educate Ohio high school students and student-athletes about the dangers new drivers face.

The 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 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 safety belt.

A total of 123,894 citations were issued to teen drivers during this period, including 662 citations in Logan County.

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.

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