Ohio State Highway Patrol

Ahead of all types of disease, injury or violence, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen death, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated in a recent media release that teens make mistakes and become easily distracted, particularly when driving in the company of friends.

“Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is a huge responsibility,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “To prevent senseless tragedies and save lives, teen driver safety and education will continue to be one of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s main priorities.”

From 2016 to 2018, teen drivers in Ohio were involved in 132,163 traffic crashes. Teen drivers’ actions contributed to 68 percent (89,467) of those traffic crashes. Crashes involving at-fault teen drivers resulted in 37,428 injuries and 251 fatalities.

The Patrol lists the following leading causes of teen driver traffic crashes: following too closely, failure to yield and improper lane change. In two percent of at-fault teen driver crashes, alcohol and/or drug impaired driving was a factor. 18 percent of at-fault teen drivers were impaired, however, in fatal crashes.

In Pike County, Patrol statistics show that 229 at-fault teen crashes occurred from 2016 to 2018. In District 9, of which Pike County is a part, there were 3,366 at-fault teen crashes during that time period.

“Poor decisions while driving can stay with teens the rest of their lives,” said Lt. Tim Karwatske, Chillicothe Post Commander. “It’s important for youthful drivers to be aware of their surroundings and focus on the task of driving.”

For a statistical map regarding teen drivers and a county-by-county breakdown of at-fault teens involved in crashes, visit https://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/media/2019/Teendrivers_Bulletin_2019b.pdf

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