OSHP: Young drivers speed, crash most

DEFIANCE, OH (Toledo News Now) - Excessive speed reduces reaction time and increases the severity of traffic crashes. That is why the Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging all motorists to obey the posted speed limit and drive within their abilities.

In 2011, 30 percent of all fatal crashes were caused by speed-related factors, killing 479 people and injuring 72,536 more. The OSHP wants drivers to remember that with a higher rate of speed comes a greater risk of serious injury or death in a crash.

In 2011, the next leading causes of fatal crashes were improper lane changes, improper passing or driving off the road, accounting for 13 percent of all fatal crashes.

"Excessive speed greatly reduces a driver's ability to negotiate an unexpected curve, to stop within an assured clear distance ahead, or to steer safely around a hazardous object. Speeding drivers put themselves, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk," explained Lt. Kevin Thomas, Defiance Post commander.

Young drivers, ages 16 to 25, caused 37 percent of the 124,948 speed-related traffic crashes in 2011. According to the OSHP, this same group of drivers received the most speeding citations: 29 percent of the total 289,554 speed citations issued.

In 2012, the OSHP, in partnership with the Ohio High School Athletic Association, formed a teen driver safety program, called "You Are in Control." The program aims to educate young drivers about the consequences of dangerous driving habits and reinforce safety, responsibility and awareness.

The OSHP urges all drivers to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.

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