Thursday, October 23, 2008


Columbus – Car crashes continue to be the number one cause of death among teens. In Ohio, in 2007, 84 teens between the age of 16 and 19 died while driving in motor vehicle crashes and more than 10,000 teen drivers were injured. There were 36 deaths of teens between those ages who were passengers in crashes. In 2006, more than 5,000 teens lost their lives in teen driver-related crashes nationwide, and most were preventable.

Oct. 19-25 is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) is working to help empower teens and parents to discover solutions to the leading cause of death among our nation’s youth.

“Teen driver safety continues to be an issue, and we are working to raise awareness and create partnerships that will allow us to fight teen deaths from every angle, whether it’s education, awareness or enforcement,” said ODPS Director Henry Guzmán.

Studies have confirmed the connection between teen drivers transporting peer passengers and increased risk of fatal crashes. The presence of one passenger doubles the fatal crash risk for a teen driver and the risk increases with each additional passenger, yet research shows few teens recognize the impact passengers have on driver safety.

This year’s theme, “Ride Like a Friend,” focuses on increasing awareness of how teen passengers distract drivers. Buckling up, minimizing distractions, and helping the driver scan the road and navigate are some of the ways passengers can increase safety on the road.

In addition, parents and teens need to be aware of graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws. Ohio’s were amended in 2007. Currently, 38 states and the District of Columbia have limits on passengers, ranging from none to two during the first six to 12 months of independent driving. For more information on Ohio’s GDL law or the Department’s efforts for NTDSW go to

Editors note: TMC NEWS received this Press Release from the Ohio Department of Public Safety on Tuesday October 21st.


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