Teen drivers among most at-risk groups

SOUTHINGTON – Teen drivers remain one of Ohio’s most at-risk groups when it comes to becoming involved in a traffic crash, according to statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

From 2010 to ’12, teen drivers were at fault in 100,871 traffic crashes, resulting in 44,458 injuries and 299 deaths on Ohio’s roadways. For the same period, teen drivers were at fault in 10 percent of all fatal crashes.

The patrol reports that speed-related circumstances accounted for 57 percent of crashes caused by teen drivers.

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

To help reduce the accident rates, in August 2012 the patrol partnered with the Ohio High School Athletic Association to educate Ohio high school students and student-athletes about the dangers new drivers face, according to the patrol.

Dubbed You Are In Control, the program emphasizes the importance of decision making and reminds students that they are in control when behind the wheel.

In addition to the education efforts, the patrol also has stepped up enforcement.

From 2010 to ’12, 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.