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Agencies partner to put focus on teen driver safety

Event recognizes National Teen Driver Safety Week 

LIMA, Ohio (Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019) –  Area agencies are putting the focus on younger drivers during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 20-25.

"Nearly 30,000 teens have been involved in crashes in Ohio so far this year. That’s more than the population of the city of Athens," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks, during an event on Monday to kick off the week. Events are being held throughout Ohio this week to emphasize the teen safety message.

In northwest Ohio, events are being held to help teens recognize behaviors which could lead to a vehicular crash, and take steps to keep from being killed or seriously injured in a crash.

An event at Lincolnview High School in Van Wert County today featured several hands-on stations, each designed to highlight a different aspect of teen driver safety. Participating agencies were the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), AAA Ohio Auto Club, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Van Wert post.

The stations featured:

  • A video regarding the dangers of distracted driving and not wearing a seat belt.
  • A walk-through roundabout simulation.
  • A simulator which tested their delay in braking while using their phone.
  • The opportunity to submit their idea for a safety message for display on Ohio's freeway message boards. 
  • A driving safety quiz and map reading exercise.
  • A roundtable discussion with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
  • An ODOT truck and a discussion about driving in snow and ice conditions, and how salt and brine makes highways safer.

On Thursday, Safe Communities of Wood County will provide a presentation to students at Penta Career Center in Perrysburg, with support of local first responders, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, AAA Ohio Auto Club, and ODOT.

Stats regarding teen drivers:

  • 5% of all drivers are teens, but they are involved in 15% of all crashes.
  • 60% of teens killed in vehicle crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those killed in teen car crashes are people other than the driver.
  • Nearly all teens polled say they are uncomfortable speaking up when they don't feel safe in a vehicle.​