PREBLE COUNTY — With two serious crashes involving young people occurring in Preble County over the past week, Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson discussed summer driving practices as younger, less experienced drivers become more active during the summer.
According to Simpson, during the summer roadways often become more active and younger drivers tend to be on the road more because they are no longer in school.
“With kids out of school or kids back from college, there a lot more of younger drivers on the roadways going back and forth from events or work now that they aren’t in schools for 6-7 hours a day,” Simpson said.
According to Simpson most of the issues seen are what most people expect.
“The biggest issues we with younger drivers are speed issues, with younger drivers you get drivers who are not as experienced due to their age and inexperience drivers might not make the right decisions,’ Simpson said. “For instance, the 18 to 20 something drivers, who are still younger drivers, text or try to make phone calls, not paying attention, have a car load people where they are concentrated on everything but driving.”
According to the National Center for Health Statistics motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death among young people, as they account for nearly a third of all deaths among people between the ages 12-19.
Simpson, who has a teenage driver of his own, said talking to your kids about driving safety should happen the day they receive their license but parents should also remind their kids this summer about good driving practices.
“I talk to her the same all the time about driving, she knows to not use her phone while she is driving. Every parent, if they haven’t already, should have that conversation, remind them to be defensive, watch your speed, paying attention to the roadway and other drivers, it is always a good conversation to have to remind your kids to be defensive drivers,” Simpson said.
Young drivers however aren’t they only ones who need reminded about being smart drivers in the summer. Simpson also said alcohol can be an issue during the summer regardless of the age of the driver.
“You have more functions in the summer time, more picnics, more outings, more events going on so our contact with those who drink and drive increases. Instead of one beer, you might have three or four over the course of a couple of hours. We always encourage people, have someone take you home, you can always get your vehicle the next day,” Simpson said. “There is nothing wrong with drinking some at a function, but you if you are going to drink at all, have a designated driver.”
Simpson also noted, motorcycle driving increases and drivers double and triple check for drivers riding motorcycles are they can be the easiest not to see on the roadways. “People in cars need to be looking for Motorcycles, they are looking for us, they are aware of us, so we need to really be aware of them because they aren’t protected like we are.”
According to the Ohio State High Way Patrol, fatalities are up this year across the state of Ohio, as already 400 people have lost their lives to motor vehicle accidents compared to 367 at this time last year.