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For Immediate Release: October 16, 2014
Contact:  Lt. Craig Cvetan or Sgt. Vincent Shirey (614) 752-2792

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

National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 19 - 25

COLUMBUS – Teen drivers are involved in a disproportionate amount of traffic crashes, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol is committed to using education, awareness and traffic enforcement to deter dangerous behavior on Ohio roadways. For that reason, the Patrol and the Ohio Department of Public Safety are partnering with the Ohio Department of Insurance to support Teen Driver Safety Week from Oct.19-25.

From 2011-2013, teen drivers were at fault in 99,132 traffic crashes. This resulted in 43,785 injuries and 288 deaths on Ohio’s roadways, representing 9 percent of all fatal crashes during the same time period. Speed is a related factor in more than half of crashes caused by teen drivers, and more than a quarter of at-fault teen drivers were impaired by alcohol or drugs.

“Through our education, enforcement and awareness efforts, we are committed to keeping our young drivers safe,” said John Born, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  “However, we need everyone across Ohio to take action in their communities as we cannot do it alone.”

While educating and raising the awareness of our teen drivers is extremely important, the Patrol also aims to change driver behavior through traffic enforcement. From 2011-2013, 62 percent of the citations issued to teen drivers were for speed-related violations and 17 percent were for failure to wear a safety belt.

“Promoting responsibility, awareness and safety are incredibly important for our youngest drivers,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “By gaining awareness of the dangers new drivers face, teen drivers and their parents can help end these preventable losses.”

Teen drivers are encouraged to plan ahead when 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_2014.pdf

 

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