According to a 2009 safety report by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, District 6, including the counties of Madison, Delaware, Licking, Pickaway, and Franklin, has more traffic fatalities caused by juvenile drivers than any other district in Ohio. Franklin County had the highest level of traffic fatalities caused by juvenile drivers, and by itself had more fatal car accidents caused by juvenile drivers than seven entire districts. In addition, while most counties saw a steady decline in car accident deaths involving juvenile drivers, Franklin County has actually experienced an increase in deaths during the last three years.
What is the cause of these fatal car accidents? Speeding is the most frequent contributing factor to fatal car accidents in which juveniles were at fault. About 18% of juvenile drivers stopped were traveling 20 mph or more over the speed limit, putting themselves and others at increased risk for deadly car accidents. Speeding contributed to 58% of juvenile-related crashes. Aggressive driving is another common cause for traffic stops and contributes significantly to the frequency of car accidents.
But what makes Franklin County so dangerous for juvenile drivers? There are many factors, but a major contributor is probably the intersection of rural and urban roadways. Although most of the county is taken up by Columbus and its suburbs, the fringes are semi-rural, and the highways extend in all directions to connect this major metropolitan hub to surrounding towns, some of them quite large, such as Newark, Marysville, or Delaware. These towns are connected to Columbus by rural highways that are dangerous in and of themselves, but also change into arterial city streets with little transition, such as Ohio 16 becoming Broad Street, which can lead to dangerous speeds on urban roadways.
As summer is ending and your kids are getting ready to head back to school, remind them about the dangers of speeding and aggressive driving. Counsel them about the need to be aware of the transition from rural highway to city streets, and to use extra caution at some of the region’s most dangerous intersections.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a deadly car accident, the personal injury lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA can help. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation.