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Ohio teenage drivers and the fatal risks of reckless driving

Ohio drivers may not realize that while drivers under age 21 account for only 10 percent of all licensed drivers, they also account for 17 percent of all fatal alcohol-related accidents nationwide. While most states have a .02 blood alcohol concentration limit for those under 21, others have a zero-tolerance policy. Despite these strict guidelines, approximately 2,000 underage drinkers die each year while behind the wheel.

About a third of all teenage auto accidents involve the use of alcohol. Teenagers who begin drinking at a younger age are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related auto accident. Despite these readily available statistics, many teenagers feel that they will not face consequences for reckless driving behavior. In addition to alcohol use behind the wheel, texting while driving kills approximately 3,000 teenagers each year. Laws regulating the use of mobile devices while driving have done little to combat the problem.

People who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident, according to research. Even talking on a cellphone slows the reaction time of young drivers. Dialing a phone results in a 2.8 increase in the risk of an accident while those who talk or listen on a mobile device are 1.3 times more likely to be involved in an accident. Individuals traveling 55 miles per hour can cross the length of a football field in the time it takes to look away from the road to use a cellphone.

Drivers who were injured in an automobile accident caused by a teenage driver who was driving under the influence or texting while driving may be eligible for compensation. Serious injuries can lead to significant medical leave and lost wages, which may be recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit. Drivers may also receive compensation for medical expenses, insurance costs and pain and suffering.

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