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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Patrol Focused on Teen Driver Safety

Ashland – Nationally, around 11 percent of drivers are age 24 and younger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes, mainly because of their immaturity, lack of skills, and lack of experience.

“Anytime a person gets behind the wheel, especially our teen drivers, it is a huge responsibility,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “To prevent senseless tragedies and save lives, young drivers should take this responsibility seriously and always keep their attention on the road.”

In Ohio, youthful drivers, age 15 to 24, were involved in 166,399 traffic crashes from 2021 to 2022. An action on the part of the youthful driver contributed to 63 percent of these crashes. Crashes where youthful drivers were at fault resulted in 441 fatalities and 45,540 injuries during the same timeframe.

To support young drivers, the Ohio State Highway Patrol oversees the DRIVE to Live education program. DRIVE to Live positively engages young drivers in conversations about good decision-making. The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Teach Your Teen to Drive website also offers parents and caregivers helpful tips and a framework for having discussions with their teen drivers about risky driving behaviors that can lead to fatal consequences.

“Poor decisions while driving can impact young drivers for the rest of their lives,” said Colonel Charles A. Jones, Patrol superintendent. “Each time our troopers have the chance to interact with a young driver, it is an opportunity to stress the importance of safe driving habits.”

The leading causes of youthful driver crashes were following too close and failure to yield or running a red light or stop sign. Leading causes of fatal at-fault youthful driver crashes included unsafe speed, failure to yield or running a red light or stop sign, driving off the roadway and driving left of center.

A statistical map containing youthful driver crash information can be found here. To schedule a DRIVE to Live presentation for your school or group click here.

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