COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - Teen drivers remain one of Ohio's most at risk groups when it comes to becoming involved in a traffic crash.
Due to the high numbers involved in crashes, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is participating in National Teen Driver Safety Week this week.
From 2010-2012, teen drivers were at fault in 100,871 traffic crashes, resulting in 44,458 injuries and 299 deaths on Ohio's roadways. Teen drivers were at fault in 10 percent of all fatal crashes during the same time period.
While crash causes may vary, speed-related circumstances accounted for 57 percent of crashes caused by teen drivers. That is why it is important for teen drivers and their parents to be aware of the dangers new drivers face and for these new drivers to make safe and responsible decisions while driving.
"No one else is in control of the vehicle except for the person behind the wheel," said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. "That is why responsibility, awareness and safety are so important for our youngest drivers."
While educating and raising the awareness of our teen drivers is extremely important, the Patrol also aims to change driver behavior through traffic enforcement. From 2010-2012, 62 percent of the citations issued to teen drivers were for speed-related violations and 18 percent were for failure to wear a safety belt.
Teen drivers are encouraged to plan ahead when traveling to or from school or school events 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.