In keeping with National Teen Driving Safety Week from Oct. 16-22, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, ahead of all other types of injury, disease or violence.
According to Lt. William Bowers, commander of the OSHP Bowling Green post, surveys show that teens whose parents set firm rules for driving typically engage in less risky driving behaviors and are involved in fewer crashes.
Young drivers who are 15-19 years old were involved in 15 percent of all traffic crashes in Ohio between 2013-15. Of those crashes, a teen driver was at-fault 73 percent of the time. These crashes resulted in 271 fatalities and 40,505 injuries.
During that period in Fulton County, there were 325 at-fault teen crashes.
While crash causes may vary, speed-related factors contributed to a majority 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. Bowers said. “That is why responsibility, awareness, and safety are so important for our youngest drivers.”
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_2016.pdf.