Big Walnut High School Aims to Reduce Teen Crashes and Breakdowns
Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for teens. In 2016, more than 49,100 teens, ages 15-19, experienced crashes in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety crash statistics. These resulted in nearly 14,000 injuries and 127 teen deaths.
In an effort to lessen local teens’ risk behind the wheel, AAA is once again holding a series of vehicle maintenance checks at local high schools, and will be making a stop at Big Walnut High School.
Date: Tuesday, April 18
Time: 10:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (during student lunch periods)
Location: Big Walnut High School parking lot, 555 S Old 3C Rd., Sunbury
Inexperience makes teens especially risky drivers, and often leads to deadly mistakes. Driving older, less-reliable vehicles makes teens even more susceptible to being killed in a crash, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Proper car maintenance can help reduce the risk of crashes and help prevent roadside breakdowns.
During these comprehensive checks, automotive technicians will identify potential problems with a student’s vehicle belts, hoses, tires, lights, fluid levels and batteries. Technicians will then discuss any detected problems with the student and provide an inspection sheet to take home to parents.
In 2016, more than 87 percent of the cars AAA checked throughout the state had at least one fault. The most common faults included problems with vehicle lubricants, tires and lights.
This year, retired Ohio State Highway Patrol officers, teachers, police officers and firefighters will assist AAA technicians in ensuring students are driving safe, well-maintained vehicles.
Distraction plays a role in nearly 60 percent of teen crashes, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research. Cell phones are among the most common form of crash-causing distractions among teen drivers.
To encourage teens to put down the phone behind the wheel, AAA will encourage all participants to sign a banner pledging to not text and drive. The school can then display the banner to remind students of their pledge.
State-specific teen driver safety information can be found on the Keys2Drive <http://teendriving.aaa.com/OH/> website, which offers evidence-based tools to guide families through the learning-to-drive process.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com <http://www.aaa.com/> .