Teen Drivers Responsible for 10 Percent of Fatal Ohio Crashes
Ohio drivers have something to fear: teens on the road. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that teen drivers were at fault for 114,737 crashes between 2009 and 2011 and were responsible for 10 percent of fatal crashes in Ohio. These crashes killed 329 people and injured 50,492 others.
Graduated Driver Licensing
Ohio has graduated driver licensing laws that should help teach teen drivers to drive well. Graduated driver licensing laws require teens to gradually learn to drive by requiring supervision for a period of time and not allowing teens to have passengers or drive at night until they reach certain ages.
Specifically in Ohio, teens are allowed to enter the learner stage when they are 15 years and six months old. They are in this stage for six months and must have fifty supervised driving hours, and ten supervised nighttime hours.
After this period, teens graduate to the intermediate stage, the minimum age for this stage is 16 years old. In this stage, teens are not allowed to drive between midnight and 6:00 a.m. when they are 16 and 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. when they are 17. Until they are 17 years old, teens may not have more than one passenger in the vehicle unless they are supervised. Teens gain full nighttime privileges at age 18.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety wants Ohio’s graduated drivers licensing program to be strengthened.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Trying to Fix the Problem
Beginning in August 2012 the Highway Patrol and the Ohio High School Athletic Association partnered to create the “You Are In Control” program. This program educates students about the dangers facing new drivers. It also reminds them that when they are behind the wheel, they are in control. This reminder is important because over half of the teen’s crashes were caused by speeding.
Teen driving is a problem all across the country. A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that teens are more likely to behave in a risky manner when they are driving. This is particularly true when teens have other passengers in the car. This is why the AAA foundation would like Ohio to change its graduated driver licensing program to not allow 17 year old drivers to have more than one passenger. The study actually showed that 17 year old drivers were involved in more deadly crashes than 16 year olds leading the AAA foundation to believe that passengers are part of the problem.
People injured by teen drivers in car crashes can reach out for help. A personal injury attorney can help those injured recover for their losses, pay their medical bills, and hold the teen driver responsible for their actions .