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Teenage drivers pose real risk to Cincinnati motorists

Under Ohio law, any driver under the age of 18 cannot use a cellphone while driving. In addition, any driver of any age cannot text behind the wheel. Even though Ohio law has, in effect, made distracted driving a crime, it is still a real danger to the people of Cincinnati, and some of the worst offenders are teenagers.

There is considerable information that marks inexperienced, teenage drivers as some of the most dangerous motorists on the road. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that teenage drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a car accident than more experienced drivers. It is their lack of experience and their proclivity to become distracted by cellphones and mobile devices that makes them such a risk.

In an effort to reduce the danger teenage drivers can cause, Ohio instituted a graduated licensing program. Along with every other state in the country, the Ohio graduated driver's license program has helped to improve safety on the road. Between 1986 and 2007, there were an estimated 1,348 fewer fatal motor vehicle accidents involving teenagers, which many credit to these types of programs. During that same time, however, there were approximately 1,086 more fatal crashes caused by 18-year-olds. The thought is that many drivers are now waiting until they are 18 before getting a driver's license, bypassing the graduated licensing program altogether.

It is true that teenage drivers in Cincinnati may pose a much greater risk to Ohio motorists than other drivers, but Ohio residents should know that when a teenager causes an accident, he or she can be held responsible for the crash and the victims' medical bills. Drivers, no matter their age, have a responsibility to drive safely and when they fail to do so, they may find themselves facing personal injury lawsuits.

Source: Kaiser Health News, "New Federal Transportation Law Encourages Stricter Teen Driving Regs," Michelle Andrews, July 30, 2012

To find out more information about how to hold teenage drivers responsible for medical bills following an accident, please visit our website.

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