Nine percent of all fatal accidents are caused by teen drivers, and for that reason, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio Department of Public Safety are partnering with the Ohio Department of Insurance to support Teen Driver Safety Week.
Officers with the State Highway Patrol said speed is one of the major factors in half of the crashes caused by teen drivers, and more than a quarter of at-fault teen drivers were impaired by alcohol or drugs. “You get new drivers, they’re experimenting with the car they you know get that freedom of their license,” said Lt. Joe Fetty.
Between 2011 and 2013, teen drivers were at fault in over 99,000 traffic crashes, resulting in over 43,000 injuries and 288 deaths on Ohio’s roadways, and representing nine percent of all fatal crashes during the same period.
Lt. Fetty said that in his post area within the last year, two teens have been killed as a result of speed. Just recently, three Buckeye Local students were seriously injured in an accident, and police said speed played a role.
Residents believe the reason why teens are causing so many accidents could be from a number of things, like texting, and becoming distracted by passengers. “They’re yapping back and fourth they’re talking on their cell phones, they’re trying to text, they’re just not paying attention to what they’re driving they don’t realize that what they’re driving can kill somebody,” said George Campbell of Cadiz.
Lindsey Stover of Steubenville added it could be any number of distractions, “between texting, people in the car with you, also there could be alcohol involved.”
Lt. Fetty wants teen drivers to plan ahead in order to eliminate rushing from one location to another, and to always wear a seat belt when they are in the car.